Saturday June 10, 2023

News & Headlines

Check here for the latest news and headlines of what's going on in the Nigerian telecommunications industry and the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, last week in Lagos, said that fears being expressed that the Commission wants to start regulating over the top (OTT) services in the country are totally misplaced as the regulatory agency has no plans now or in the immediate future to regulate such services.

Speaking through Mr. Tony Ojobo at the Social Media Week, Danbatta explained that what may have given rise to the speculations is a document titled, An Overview of Provision of Over The Top (OTT) Services put on the Commission’s website by the Policy, Competition and Economic Analysis Department intended mainly to elevate discourse on this new genre of telecoms services occasioned by what the industry refers to as disruptive technology.

In his explanation, “OTT services are services carried over the networks, delivery value to customers, but without any carrier service provider being involved in planning, selling, provisioning, or servicing them, thereby implying that traditional telecos cannot directly earn revenue from such services. These over-the-top services include services such as Internet Protocol (IP) telephony, live streaming and other social media applications.”

Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, few months after assuming office as the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Chief Executive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has released a pointed roadmap to excite the telecommunications industry and attract fresh local and international investment to the sector.

Tagged The 8-Point Agenda, the roadmap is conveniently seated on the 3-A tripod of Availability of service, Accessibility of Service, and Affordability of service. It is informed by the change mantra of the Buhari administration which revolves around an ideological shift in creation of structures for social benefits and inclusiveness for national development.

Captured under broad headlines and followed by Vision and Strategy for implementation, the agenda, according to Danbatta, will catapult the industry to the next level of growth, and create wealth and development for the people who are being encouraged to take advantage of the steady growth and relevance of the telecommunications industry.

Valued at over $32bn at the moment, the Buhari Administration expects the sector to play a lead role in its drive for development and a re-focusing of the nation’s economy by way of weaning it from perennial dependence on oil. With oil prices hitting an all-time low in the international market, the agenda has become a timely intervention.