2 February 2013

Nigeria: Mobile Operators Disagree On Interconnect Rates Regime

Mobile operators in the country have disagreed on the best interconnect rates regime to adopt with the expiration of the asymmetrical rates in December 2012. Speaking at a stakeholders' forum held in Lagos yesterday, some of the mobile operators insisted that the regulator should continue to implement the glide path interconnection rates for voice services known also known as asymmetrical rates.

Mr. Steve Evans, chief executive officer of Etisalat Nigeria called for the retention of asymmetrical rates saying a flat rate implementation will favour dominant operator more than the smaller operators. He said the current rate makes for healthy competition in the telecom industry. His argument was supported by an official of Visafone. Mr. Osondu Nwokoro, director, Regulatory Affairs, Airtel Nigeria called on the regulator to look into the asymmetrical rates again.

"We feel the issue of Assymmetry should be looked at again. Our stand is that there should be three levels reflecting the dominant operator, a second level for other GSM operators and a third one for the CDMA mobiles."

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