It’s data war in Nigeria and subscribers winning



It is official; there is data war in the telecom space fuelled by intense competition among the operators.For Nigerians, it is bonanza time as operators demonstrate knee jerk reactions and fight for the souls of data loving consumers.Bandwidth, a major ingredient for telecommunications service delivery especially for data and video was before now priced of out of the reach of ordinary Nigerians.

To justify the rooftop cost of the essential commodity; service providers listed several obstacles.Some of the challenges they claimed are: “Right of Way” permit; frequent fibre cuts; and dearth of last mile infrastructure.This is despite the avalanche of undersea cable initiatives with landing points in the country as well as a number of other vehicles like satellites that carry internet traffic.

There are no more excuses, thanks to competition driven by the lifting of data floor price by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on October 13, 2015.Simply put, the NCC by the lifting of the floor price intended to ensure that smaller Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telecoms start-up companies had the chance to compete with the bigger, already established companies.

And they are competing now; for instance, MTN subscribers can now have access to 30MB of internet data for 24Hrs for just N100 by dialing *104# or texting 104 to 131 in an SMS.The basic plan on the Etisalat network offers users 10MB for N100. It would last a period of 24HRs.Elsewhere on Glo, the basic daily plan offered for a period of 24HRs. It goes for N50 with a data cap of 30MB.

The least on the Airtel daily plans is this N100 bundle that offers 30MB. It is safe to say that telecoms operators reacted to the regulatory intervention by reducing their data prices considerably. Despite the significant reduction in internet tariffs however, internet speed still snarls and it is not widely available.

The epileptic nature of internet service delivery is impacting adversely on all spheres of national economy.For instance, financial institutions especially deposit money banks and their customers complain of snail speed in verification and confirmation of transactions.

Same applies to customers who need to make payments at merchants’ locations via Point of Sale (PoS) terminals and those who need to withdraw money from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) as they are sometimes in and out of service.

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