So far in 2021, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved 98 tariff plans for the four leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country.
The tariff plans represent various service platforms chosen by GSM users on the networks of their operators for voice and data services with specific charges attracted to each plan.
Business Metrics gathered that the approval happened between January this year and middle of September after submission of the plans by the operators including MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, Globacom and EMTs operating in Nigeria as 9Mobile.
In the course of this year, MTN has got the highest number of tariff plan approvals which the commission put at 58 plans, thus contributing 59.7 per cent of total tariff plans endorsed by the telecoms regulator.
This may not be surprising as the telco is known for bringing forth multiple tariff packages for its customers. NCC disclosed in its latest industry statistics that as of July, 2021, MTN has 73.12 million active GSM subscribers on its network which translates to 39.1 per cent market share.
According to the latest tariff update obtained by Business Metrics, MTN is distantly followed by Airtel Nigeria which NCC has given the nod to introduce 19 new tariffs to its customers this year. Note that Airtel Nigeria has 50.3 million subscribers as at July, which represents 26.83 per cent of Nigeria’s GSM market.
Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services (EMTS) operating in the Nigerian Market as 9Mobile introduced 15 new tariff packages between January and mid-September after approval by the NCC.
Elsewhere, record shows that 9Mobile controls the smallest share of the GSM market with its 12.91 million active subscribers, equivalent to 6.89 per cent of the market.
According to the NCC, Globacom has introduced the fewest tariff plans to its customers this year with just nine tariff packages approved for it by the commission.
However, the indigenous MNO is currently the second largest operator in terms of active subscribers. Based on the latest industry statistics, Glo controls 27.28 per cent of the GSM market, made possible by its 51.14 million active subscriptions.
What you should know
Consistent with Section 108 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 (NCA 2003), the Commission is responsible for the approval of tariffs and other charges for the provision of service by licensed telecommunications service providers.
It was gathered that operators must meet some 15 conditions set by the NCC as necessary for the approval of new Tariff Plans, why there are other five of such conditions for the modification of approved Tariff Plans by operators.
For instance, one of the conditions for new tariffs states thus:
For Operators who offer Voice, data or Value Added Services;
- There should be NO automatic renewal of a plan without the customer’s consent. At the expiration of a plan the subscriber should be given the option to either opt in to the current plan or subscribe to a new plan.
- There should be NO automatic migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account except with the express consent and authorization of subscriber via SMS.
- All unused data allowance at the expiration of a data plan should be rolled-over upon subscription of a new plan/ within any specified timeline as determined by the Commission.
- All approved tariffs must be launched within 60days from the date of the conveyance of approval; otherwise such approval would be considered stale and the operator will have to re-apply for consideration.