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29 Nov 2016

It Has Happened! From 1st December,1.5GB Will Now Cost N3000. Thanks To NCC And Our Government


Subscribers of the Global System of Mobile (GSM) telecommunications
across the country would pay more for data effective from December
1st, 2016, The PUNCH learnt on Monday.

Although the telecoms companies declined to speak on the matter, top
management workers across the networks confirmed the story to our
correspondent, saying that the directive was from the Nigerian
Communications Commission.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior management employee
of Etisalat Nigeria said;

"The NCC issued the directive late last week on the orders of the
Federal Government. We have not announced it yet because most of the
major telcos have been meeting the NCC on how to reverse this policy,
because it will be too harsh for Nigerians.

"However, we further gathered that the Federal Government took the
decision having discovered that data rates are very low-priced in
Nigeria, compared to other countries, including nearby African

"The government might have
also taken the decision given that Nigerian subscribers have been
kicking against the proposed nine per cent Communication Tax, whose
bill is currently in the National Assembly." Pleading not to be
mentioned, an employee of MTN said;

"What this means is that MTN, Airtel, Etisalat And Globacom will
increase their data rates
as from December 1, 2016. A data plan of N1,000 for 1.5 Gigabytes will
now be increased to N3,000 at N1,000 per 500 Megabytes." In text
messages sent out to its subscribers, MTN, Africa's mobile
telecommunications giant, confirmed that it had agreed to implement
the directive of the NCC.

The MTN text read, "Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st of
December, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new
rates set by the NCC for operators. Thank you."

The PUNCH could not obtain an official response from the NCC at of the
time of filing this report. However, a representative of
the commission said that the telecoms regulator was unaware of such
plans by the operators, even as she said her bosses had claimed
ignorance of the circulated message. "We are unaware of it. I just
asked my bosses; they are
unaware. We will forward your query to MTN for appropriate attention,"
she said over the telephone. However, in a letter by the NCC to the
operators sighted by Punch, the commission stated, "This rate will
subsist pending the finalisation of the study on the determination of
cost- based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria.
"All operators are to ensure that subscribers are not automatically
migrated to pay-as-you-go platform. "Also, note that effective date
for the interim price floor is December 1st, 2016."

Source: Punch

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