With effect from December 1, 2016, GSM subscribers across the country would pay more for data as directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Last week, reports said the Federal Government through the NCC directed telecommunication firms to start using a fixed minimum pricing template and increase prices of their internet data subscription packages.
The NCC in a letter to the operators stated that the rate will subsist pending the finalization of the study on the determination of cost-based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria, and the effective date for the interim price floor is December 1, 2016.
PUNCH reports that top management workers across the networks confirmed the story, adding that the new data prices are yet to be announced because most of the major telecoms have been meeting the NCC on how to reverse the policy, given how harsh the effect will be on Nigerians.
Suggestive reasons for the Federal Government’s new decision have been given that data rates are very low-priced in Nigeria, compared to other countries, including nearby African countries.
Also, the government might have taken the decision given that Nigerian subscribers have been kicking against the proposed nine percent Communication Tax, whose bill is currently in the National Assembly.
The implication of this directive would mean that telecommunication firms such as (MTN, Airtel, Etisalat And Globacom) will increase their data rates for GSM subscribers and a data plan of N1,000 for 1.5 gigabytes will now be increased to N3,000 at N1,000 per 500 megabytes.
However, Africa’s mobile telecommunications giant MTN, has reportedly confirmed its agreement to implement the NCC’s directive in text messages sent out to its subscribers.
The text message already received from some MTN subscribers reads; “Dear customer, please be informed that from 1st of December, some MTN data tariffs will be increased to reflect the new rates set by the NCC for operators. Thank you.”
Meanwhile, the NCC is yet to officially respond to this news, and a representative of the commission has claimed the NCC is unaware of such a development.