Interconnectivity: Telecoms operators agree to settle debts owed one another

(Decenber 9, 2016) Telecoms operators and regulators have resolved to address inter connectivity indebtedness among operators. At a meeting in Lagos between telecoms executives and regulators they also work out ways to ensure  balance in revenue sharing between the operators and value added service providers who use telecom operators platform to send text messages towards boosting broadband penetration.

Telecoms executives and regulator forum initiated by The Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, in 2012 is a platform for members to understand best regulatory practices and address emerging issues in the industry.

Over the years, inter connectivity indebtedness among operators had continued to pile up as it had been estimated to increase from 5billion to 20 billion naira.

The result of this is, more debt disputes, network congestion and poor quality of services. 

During a panel session, a stakeholder Mr Iyk Nnamani regretted that there was no settlement scheme for the industry as most of the dominant operators do not go through the clearing houses.

A VAS coordinator, Mr Hycinth Anucha said the short code VAS operators are going out of business because of debt and revenue sharing formula, pointing out that the operators who collect money for contents such as SMS  provided by VAS operators using their platforms have either refused to pay or pay peanuts to the content provider.

Mr Anucha apealed to NCC to come up with a strong policy to save licensed VAS providers from going out of business.

A representative of NCC, Mrs Helen Obi said though NCC's intervention had resulted in the payment of ten million out of the interconnectivity debts, NCC strongly believed the industry players should put their house in order.

Earlier, the former President of ATCON, Mr Lanre Ajayi advised NCC to license regional spectrum for smaller companies to survive, pointing out that the 5.4 gigahertz spectrum licensed by the NCC to two companies recently was supposed to be a reserve.

The president of ATCON Mr Olusola Teniola suggested a way of reducing interconnectivity indebtedness.

 

The internet exchange point and impact on the industry including safety of information were also discussed at the forum.

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