NCC’s proposed research wants to improve competition in telecoms market

Godfrey Elimian
…engages PwC to conduct study on competition level | *stakeholders urged to see forum as opportunity to seek and receive clarification

The Nigerian communication commission (NCC) has begun a research to analyse the present level of competition in the Nigerian telecommunications sector’s colocation and infrastructure sharing (CIS) segment. There are now 78 licensees operating in that market category.

The purpose of the study is to provide the Commission with insightful and evidence-based data so that it may better understand the dynamics at play and guarantee that the CIS segment of the telecom market continues to thrive. Because of the vital role played by the colocation and infrastructure sharing segments of the telecom ecosystem in ensuring reliable services, the NCC has prioritised this problem.

The Commission has already enlisted the services of Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), one of the world’s most prominent consulting organisations, to conduct the study on its behalf, in accordance with the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003. The research will be completed between April and July of 2022.

Yetunde Akinloye, Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)

Yetunde Akinloye, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economy Analysis (PCEA) at the NCC, who spoke on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said the forum was held to inform operators in the CIS segment of the telecom market about the study and to secure their buy-in and cooperation with the consultants conducting the study.

(L-R): Mr. Ajibola Olude, Executive Secretary, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria; Mary Iwelumo, Partner, PricewaterHouseCoopers; Mrs. Yetunde Akinloye, Director, Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC; Yomi Arowosafe, Lagos Zonal Controller, NCC; Dapo Otunla, Chief Corporate Services Officer, IHS and Mr. Sunday Atu, Deputy Director, NCC, during a stakeholders’ forum for the consultancy study on the level of competition in colocation and infrastructure sharing market of the Nigerian telecom industry held in Lagos recently.

According to Akinloye, the NCC conducts periodic studies to assess the level of competition in the industry in order to fulfill its mandate of creating an enabling environment for competition among operators in the industry as well as ensuring the provision of qualitative and efficient telecommunications services.

Read also: Equiano cable: Nigeria Government, NCC pledge enabling policy environment

“Having successfully conducted competition assessment studies in 2005, 2010 and 2013, the Commission had issued determinations based on the findings of the studies while outcome of such studies has also enabled the Commission to come up with various regulatory interventions and initiatives to continuously provide a level-playing field for the interplay of market forces.”

These procedures are emplaced by the Commission to ensure fair, efficient and sustainable competition in the Nigerian telecom industry,

Yetunde Akinloye

Despite the Commission’s substantial progress, Akinloye indicated that significant development and activities in some market areas of the industry had compelled the execution of another competition analysis following the successful completion of the 2013 research.

The CIS market category was still in its infancy when the 2013 study was done, and as a result, little emphasis was placed on it.

“The CIS segment has recorded significant growth and transformation over the years having about 80 licensees, operating in the segment while its performance and activities continue to impact significantly on other segments of the Nigerian industry.

Participant

“The Director PCEA informed that activities in the CIS market has also attained the targets set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)”, Akinyole disclosed.

The study’s overarching goal is to provide current insights into the level of competition in the CIS market segment, as well as articulate strategies to enhance market opportunities and ensure the deepening of competition, which will ultimately support the provision of innovative services for the benefit of both market players and consumers at large.

Yetunde Akinyole

She then urged the stakeholders to use the forum as an opportunity “to seek and receive clarification based on the consultant’s presentation and to make comments on study-related concerns.”

“Commit to the study’s aims by providing thorough, timely feedback to questionnaires,” she asked all participants.

Engr. Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, NCC

Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, has joined Akinloye in requesting full cooperation from licensees in the CIS segment of the telecom market whenever consultants approach them for relevant information, whether through the RFI or one-on-one sessions with consultants during the study’s implementation.

Be rest assured of the confidentiality of any information provided to the Commission in the course of this study, no matter how sensitive.

Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network integrity, NCC.
Group picture of NCC staffs

Partner at PwC, Mary Iwelumo earlier in her presentation to telecom stakeholders at the event amplified the Commission’s voice on the study’s objectives and urged them to cooperate with the firm in providing accurate, timely, and adequate responses to the RFI or questionnaire that would be administered. This will ensure that the necessary information is acquired to address the sector’s difficulties.


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