The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will introduce a more active infrastructure sharing and co-location framework to help the small telecom operators provide service to all Nigerians.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC said this on Tuesday in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that telecommunications operators had recently called on the NCC to look into the indebtedness of smaller telecom operators and support them to survive competition.
Mr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), made the call at a telecom stakeholders’ forum recently in Lagos.
Adebayo had said that reports and studies showed that big telecom operators survive more than small ones, urging NCC to help small operators survive competition from the bigger ones.
Danbatta said that NCC has frameworks for infrastructure sharing and co-location at the moment to ensure that companies without the capacity to deploy their own infrastructure could pay and get a lease of infrastructure from the bigger ones.
“Of recent, we are going to introduce another framework on active infrastructure sharing and co-location, meaning we are raising the bait.
“In all our regulatory framework, you will discover we have palliatives for smaller telecom operators and those with about seven and a half per cent of the market share are given consideration in asymmetric regulations.
“Asymmetric in the sense that we enforce on the bigger operators and we relax on the small ones,’’ he said.
According to him, the asymmetry is a common characteristic of NCC regulations with the intention to protect the smaller operators.
He said the regulation was to avail smaller operators a level playing field to play in a market dominated by the bigger operators.
“The small operators are equally cared for and they are given the chance to provide services for Nigerians.
“This is in order to ensure neutrality in the way and manner Nigerians subscribe to services, ‘’ he added. (NAN)