There are Seventy-eight licensees are currently operating in competition in the colocation and infrastructure sharing (CIS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed.
This is important and needs strengthening to enhance competition in the sector in view of the critical role played by the colocation and infrastructure sharing segment of the telecom ecosystem in ensuring robust services.
Thus, to have insightful and evidenced-based facts to glean the dynamics at play and ensure the continuous growth of the CIS segment of the telecom market, the Commission has hired the services of Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), one of the world’s reputable consulting firms, to conduct a study on its behalf, in the exercise of NCC’s regulatory functions as provided in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.
According to NCC, the study is expected to be concluded between April and July 2022.
“Having successfully conducted competition assessment studies in 2005, 2010 and 2013, the Commission had issued determinations based on the findings of the studies while the 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,” said Director, Policy, Competition and Economy Analysis (PCEA) at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye at a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos.
Yetunde, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta at the forum noted that the forum was hosted to intimate operators in the CIS segment of the telecom market on the study and to secure their buy-in and cooperation with the consultants undertaking the study.
she said in line with 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, the NCC periodically conducts studies to assess the level of competition in the industry.
Despite the measurable progress made by the Commission, Akinloye stated that, since the successful completion of the 2013 study, there had been significant development and activities in some market segments of the industry that had necessitated the conduct of another competition study.
For instance, at the time the 2013 study was conducted, the CIS market segment was still at an embryonic stage and as such, much emphasis was not placed on it. However, “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. The Director PCEA also informed that activities in the CIS market have also attained the targets set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)”.