News Telecoms

Telephone Operators to Increase Data, Call Rates Over Running Cost

Nigerians will pay more for calls and data usage, telephone operators have informed subscribers.

Telecom operators said they will seek the consent of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) within the next one week before announcing new rates.

The price of diesel has also forced financial institutions and broadcast stations to scale down their operational time to remain in business.

Radio stations are also cutting several hour off to reduce operational cost.

Group Managing Director of GTBank Holdings, Segun Agbaje, told reporters yesterday that the bank was scaling down its operational hours from 5pm to 4pm daily.

The bank chief said the bank was also looking in the direction of extending the same cost cutting measure to its other branches.

Telecom operators warned of the dire consequences of the brazen shutdown of base transceiver stations (BTS) by the agents of Kogi State Internal Revenue Service (KIRS), especially at a criticall time the nation is battling with homeland insecurity.

Acting under the aegis of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), the group lamented that as a result of the action of the KIRS, its members are unable to refuel the power generators, provide any support or maintenance services in these sites, a situation which has currently resulted in the outage of over 70 sites including hub sites across parts of state.

“This would inevitably lead to a total communications blackout in the entire Kogi State, parts of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory and possibly impact on service availability in some parts Nasarawa, Benue, Enugu, Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Niger states. These are states sharing borders with Kogi State,” ALTON warned.
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ALTON Chairman Gbenga Adebayo expressed concern over the rising cost of diesel which is the main fuel for running the BTS.

According to NC statistics, BTS deployment in the country has risen from 30,000 to 54,460 and in the face of the dismal performance of power supply from the Nationall Grid operators have relied essentially on generators while making public power supply as backup.

Adebayo said the operators will in the next one week approach the NCC for upward rate review, adding that the sudden rise in litre price diesel from N250 to N750 is unsustainable for business profitability.

“We are very concerned about the rising cost of diesel and its implications on the general high cost of business.

“We are concerned that unless there is an intervention to safe this sector, operators will have no choice but to begin a process of price review.

“The state of security on our country is of concern, on the whole, we commend all our security agencies for the work they do to keep us all safe, the impact of the general state of security on the country is that we are not able to provide 24/7 support in certain areas as it is unsafe to send out service personnel to some parts of the country and to other at certain times of the day. We join in the call to the Federal Government to do a lot more to keep the nation safe and keep our workers safe.

“We reaffirm our commitment to work with the security agencies in order the necessary support for national security for which we now need protection from sub-national governments and agencies to stop the interference of smooth operations of telecom services.”

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