Telecommunication operators, under the umbrella of the Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), have proposed an increase in call and SMS rates to account for Nigeria’s rising operating costs.
The organization (MTN, GLO, 9mobile, and Airtel) made the recommendation in a letter to the Nigerian Communications Commission, lamenting a 40% increase in the cost of doing business in the nation.
The group said that an economic slowdown in 2020 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict had impacted the telecom business financially.
They stated that the conflict had caused a 35% rise in their operational costs owing to rising energy prices.
“ALTON believes it is necessary for the telecommunications industry to undergo periodic cost adjustments through the commission’s involvement in order to mitigate the effect of our members’ tough economic challenges,” the group stated.
ALTON advised an “upward review of the price setting for phone and Internet and SMS. We would like to seek an interim administrative assessment of the mobile (voice) termination rate for voice; administrative data floor price; and cost of SMS as represented in existing instruments, given the situation of the economy and the roughly 40% rise in the cost of doing business.”
The price floor for calls would be raised from N6.4 to N8.95, while the price cap for SMS will be raised from N4 to N5.61.
This development occurred as businesses continue to explore strategies to cope with the country’s dire economic situation.
Following the constant rise in the price of diesel at the pump, GTBank decreased its operating hours. First Bank of Nigeria also decreased the hours of operation at certain of its branches.