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Sunday, July 3, 2022

NCC engages PwC to conduct study on competition level

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has engaged Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC), one of the world’s reputable consulting firms, to conduct a study to assess the current level of competition in colocation and infrastructure sharing (CIS) segment of the Nigerian telecommunications sector.

This is in the exercise of NCC’s regulatory functions as provided in the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003. The study is expected to be concluded between April and July 2022.

A statement by a Director, Public Affairs at the Commission, Dr Ikechukwu Adinde, said, “Seventy-eight licensees are currently operating in that market segment.”

The statement added that “the study is to enable the Commission 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 NCC takes this issue as a priority in view of the critical role played by the colocation and infrastructure sharing segment of the telecom ecosystem in ensuring robust services.”

Speaking at the NCC’s stakeholders’ forum recently organised in Lagos on the commencement of the study, the Director, Policy, Competition and Economy Analysis (PCEA) at NCC, Yetunde Akinloye, who represented the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, said 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.

Akinloye reasoned that, 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.

“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,” Akinloye said.

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 has also attained the targets set out in the Nigerian National Broadband Plan (2020-2025)”.

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