The telecommunication space in the country has improved in recent years, with the apex regulatory agency, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) headed by Prof. Danbatta creating an ecosystem that has seen many telecommunication firms thrive in recent years especially in the post Covid 19 narrative. The commission as of today is a reference point in African regulation space. A situation that has brought many African countries to understudy the commission.
The Covid 19 pandemic saw many sectors of the economy crippling, not only in Nigeria, but many countries of the world, but what stood out in the case of Nigeria, was the telecommunication. The lockdown period, Nigerians during that period enjoyed uninterrupted internet and calls. Today, the issue of quality of Service (QoS) is at the front burner. Though, QoS has improved lately with dropped calls and uncompleted calls drastically reduced.
The EVC lately listed critical regulatory actions that have been taken by the Commission to slowdown the impact of Covid 19 pandemic in the telecoms sector especially in the area of service delivery. Working in line with global best practice such as the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) , Telecos are reporting demand spike especially in the area of data usage and volume of call.
The EVC ensured that the Telcos are well prepared for this scenario. As Nigerians are still observing social distancing, it is believed in the industry that there would be increase in the demand of telecommunication service at the same time consumers would also expect good service. The EVC has harped and reiterated that the Commission is so poised and positioned to ensure that Nigerians benefit quality services.
The EVC in the last concluded virtual consumers parliament said that mobile operators needed to play their roles in sustaining quality of service delivery. He added that in collaboration with the supervising Ministry, the Commission has developed various platforms handle requests.
Resource sharing among telecommunication players is one area that the EVC is particular about, with the Right of Way issue, the Commission has played an intervention role apart from its statutory role which is regulatory. The NCC engaged the Nigerians Governors Forum (NGF) on this issue of right of way and finding a middle-ground on the rates that the Telcos and Infracos will pay. These strides paid off; various governors of states lent their support for a robust broadband infrastructure in the country.
Danbatta ensured a regulatory framework that would direct security agencies in the country to protect telecommunication facilities such as mast and fibre optic cables. He got a presidential nod to this effect, a big Landmark achievement for the present EVC. Not resting on his oars, the EVC has constantly tasked the telecommunication and internet service providers to always upgrade to the latest technologies and be in tune with the global best practice.
Anthony Emeka Nwosu