Nigeria: NCC May Introduce Regulatory Framework For Over-The-Top (OTT) Services

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO) has published a report on the benefits and challenges of OTT services in Nigeria suggesting that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), should set up a regulatory framework to control Over-the-top (OTT) technology services.

The telecommunications industry is seeing this regulation as a possibility as the NCC is making moves to validate the findings of a study.

The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management at NCC, Mr Sunday Dare said, “It is vital that Nigeria comes up with regulatory approaches that not does only address the peculiarities of the Nigerian ‘OTT’ context but to also ensure positive outcomes for consumers, traditional service providers, the government and the  OTTs themselves. The report of the CTO’s on OTT's in Nigeria is an excellent start to doing just that.”

Gbenga Adebayo, the Chairman of Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), raised concern on how social network operators do not invest in infrastructure. He pointed out that they take advantage of the support already provided by the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to offer free services to customers at the detriment of MNOs who are still investing in the maintenance of such telecoms infrastructure.

Adebayo added that the new development was causing MNOs to lose revenue coming from their voice and data services because subscribers now prefer the free services of these social network operators.

Last year Adebayo had called on the industry regulatory body to consider the regulation of OTT services only for NCC to state clearly at that time that it was not ready to regulate the OTT technology to avoid a situation that would stifle of technological advancement in the country.

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