Glo, MTN, Airtel, and Others Set to Raise Prices on Data Subscriptions and Call Rates

by Ohepo Ohepo

Telecommunications operators in Nigeria have declared that their services are due for a price increase, noting that there have been no rate adjustments in the past 11 years. This statement was released jointly by the Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) and the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

The operators emphasized that the telecom sector is unique in that it has not revised its pricing in response to the country’s rising inflation and other economic pressures that typically necessitate such adjustments. They attributed this stagnation in pricing to regulatory constraints that prevent them from setting prices that reflect current economic conditions.

In their statement, ALTON and ATCON highlighted the substantial investments required for telecommunications infrastructure, including network expansion, maintenance, and technological upgrades. They pointed out that despite facing significant economic challenges, the telecom industry has not updated its pricing framework for over a decade due to these regulatory limitations.

The associations argued that the existing price control mechanisms, which do not align with the economic realities, jeopardize the industry’s sustainability and could potentially undermine investor confidence. They called on the government to engage in constructive dialogue with industry stakeholders to revise the pricing framework, aiming to balance consumer affordability with the financial viability of operators.

Additionally, the operators addressed other pressing challenges facing the industry, such as heavy taxation, regulatory issues, right of way (RoW) charges, inadequate power supply, and infrastructure vandalism. They urged the government to pass legislation that recognizes telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, highlighting its essential role in national security and economic growth, especially given Nigeria’s current security challenges.

The statement also emphasized the significant financial impact of attacks on telecommunications assets like cell towers and fiber optic cables, which disrupt services and result in substantial losses. The operators called for government action to enhance the security of these critical infrastructures and to work closely with law enforcement to bolster security measures and prevent sabotage and vandalism.

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