Vanguard (Lagos)

10 January 2013

Nigeria: Let SMS Be Free, Telecom Subscribers Tell Operators

Abuja — Mobile telephone subscribers on Thursday in Abuja called for a uniform tariff for Short Message Service (SMS) from all telecom operators in the country.

The subscribers made the call in separate interviews. Mr David Amachree, who sells cosmetics, said that it was unfair for the operators to be charging differently for SMS from one network to another.

Amachree urged the telecom operators to slash the rate of SMS to other networks. "The SMS that we send cost N5 for same network and N15 for other networks. It should go down. It should be uniform for all networks.

"They should cut it down to a maximum of N3 or N5 per SMS, it should go down. The population of this country is so large that every one Naira cumulatively turn into millions.

"So they are cheating us honestly; the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC ) should sit up and be up to the task in their responsibility," Amachree urged.

Mrs Victoria Onyebuchi, a primary school teacher, said that SMS should be free to subscribers to serve as value added services for being on a particular network.

Onyebuchi also urged NCC to compel the telecom operators to reduce and charge uniform tariffs for all networks in the country. "Why is it that whatever come to Nigeria is always different; they can't do this in other developed countries.

Our leaders are not helping us they should try and do something to compel these telecom operators to come down. "Let free SMS be a kind of incentive for subscribers whom the operators make fortunes out of,' ' Onyebuchi said.

Miss Halima Yakubu, a student at the University of Abuja, said that the present charge on SMS was hindering text communication betwen students using different networks.

"For instance, a student in an emergency situation having just N5 credit in his or her phone cannot send an SMS to a friend using a different network; this is just unfair. (NAN)

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