Nigeria’s Telecoms N3.9trn Industry Under Threat
Nigeria’s N3.9 trillion telecommunications sector. Drop call is the termination of telephone calls before the speaking parties could finish their conversation or before one of them could hung up.
Poor quality of service has become more rampant in the last couple of weeks, from the four telecommunications companies; Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat and MTN, operating in the country.
The fear in Industry stakeholders now, is that this act may further propel millions of subscribers to migrate to Coded Division Multiple Access(CDMA) operators like Visafone and others ,if quality of service do not improve beyond what is expected. Currently, Nigeria’s Telecoms subscribers expenditure on phone calls, according to checks will hit a whopping N106.1 billion monthly by the end of December, 2012.
If Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in Nigeria is estimated around N1,011, according to the Business Monitor International Limited (BMI), and the subscriber base of 103 million in the month of July, the outgoings by Nigerian subscribers in July was conservatively valued at N104 billion monthly. ARPU is the financial benchmark used globally by Telecoms companies to measure average monthly or yearly revenue generated from an average subscriber.
It will be recalled that the expenditure increased from N100 billion in January 2012 when active Industry subscriber base was estimated at 99 million by the NCC, to reach N104 billion in seven months up to the month of July when subscriber base peaked at 103 million.
Investigation, however, revealed that with the projection by the former Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Ernest Ndukwe on the Industry lamented active Telecoms subscribers will hit 105 million by the end of December, 2012, and with Industry ARPU of N1011, Nigerians subscribers are billed to spend an average of N106 billion monthly.
The projected expenditure is also equivalent to the average monthly revenue from phone calls, which will accrue to the Telecoms firms, including the Global System for Mobile Communications networks such as MTN, Globacom, Airtel, Etisalat; the Code Division Multiple Access operators of Visafone, Starcomms, Multi-Links and the dormant Zoom Mobile, as well as to the fixed line operators. According to Daily Sun’s findings, most subscribers of these networks are far from pleased with services they are deriving from these operators.
While, some of them have attributed the poor quality of service especially in terms of voice to over projection on network promos or lottery that is fast affecting services rendered. The promos, according to them are becoming one too many, which may be why the quality of service is dropping.
Few of them argued that, it may be due to more concentration on internet investment (data) that could be affecting voice, which they noted shouldn’t be at all. They stressed that Nigeria’s telcos should not be chasing shadows but address the real issue on ground.
One of these subscribers, Juliet Orugbo, for the past two weeks, network has been down and she can’t make clear and audible call. She lamented that the caller may not get to hear what the receiver is saying at the other end and yet they are forced to pay for services not fully utilized.
Buttressing Orugbo’s point, Marcel Onyia also explained that he cannot understand what the regulator is doing in that regard especially when the voice sector is critical to the growth of the economy.
“In the last three years, private investment including Foreign Direct Investments, FDI in the telecommunications sector increased by 39 per cent. If I am not mistaken, according to reports I read from Daily Sun, telecom’s FDI stood at $18 billion in 2009 but grew significantly to reach N3.9 trillion about $25 billion now.
The $7 billion FDI increase represents about 39 per cent growth in the total investment inflows into the country Telecoms sector. So why can’t there be more improvement? Nigerians are not happy with telcos. We like to talk, spend more on our phone calls. if the best service is offered like we have in other climes, Nigerians won’t complain.
You cannot try this abroad without being sued by subscribers,” he retorted. Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, also confirmed the current FDI , saying, “The expansion of telecom facilities in the country has increased the inflow of foreign direct investment to N3.9trillion “.
“We are just talking about poor quality of services. What you need to clear about poor quality of service is further investment. You have to expand the existing facilities the service providers have and the money for that comes mainly from external sources.”
Some stakeholders also pointed out that the recent flood disaster in the South South and South East , which damaged and collapsed some masts may also be a contributing factor to why the quality of service has degenerated. Although these network providers have offered several excuses in the past ,which includes fibre cuts, multiple and unnecessary taxation, theft of generating sets in base stations to make up for their shortcomings.
The recent excuse that is fast becoming a song on operators lips is the recent bombing of base stations burnt in the north by unknown persons.
Nigeria’s Telecoms N3.9trn Industry Under Threat
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