Nigeria: NCC Moves to Revitalise Telecom Special Numbering Service Segment

25 November 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is taking a decisive regulatory move to ensure sustainability, profitability and fair competition in the Special Numbering Service (SNS) segment of the nation's telecommunications sector.

The move informed the decision of the Commission to hold a Stakeholders' Forum on the 'Determination of Call Termination Rate for Special Numbering Service Providers in Nigeria.

The forum, which held at the NCC's Head Office in Abuja recently, was attended by representatives of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), Special Numbering Service (SNS) providers and other stakeholders who participated actively in the discussions.

Addressing the gathering, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, said the meeting was convened following the extensive work of a committee set up by the Commission to look into the issues and complaints emanating from the SNS segment of the telecoms market. A key concern according to her, was the perception of high cost of delivering services to end-users in the SNS segment.

According to Akinloye "This meeting is convened to discuss issues pertaining to the special numbering services (SNS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications market. Statutorily, the NCC is the custodian and manager of the toll-free and non-toll-free numbers licenses, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria."

She explained that owing to the scarce and finite nature of the numbers in the sector, the NCC, as the regulator, was under obligation to ensure the utilisation of the numbers by the licensees in a way that delivers value to the final consumers and ensures sustainability of the industry.

According to her, based on this, the NCC set up a committee to do a thorough review of the market segment; research similar markets in other jurisdiction for benchmarking; and determine the appropriate call termination rates, through proper investigation, consultation and stakeholder engagements.

Also speaking during the meeting, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC, Bako Wakil, decried the situation where the SNS segment of the market has not been fully maximised because of the cost elements involved.

Wakil however said if cost could be reduced, there would be greater benefits from economies of scale.

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