>>>>N60bn interconnect debt threatens the sector
The telecom operators in the country may lose at least N40 billion cumulative revenue for voice and data segments of their services this year, if not check, as the ban on open SIM registration, 9mobile debt crisis and other factors continue to impacts their customer base.
Active telecom lines in the country presently stand at about 144 million, according to NCC.
Last year, amehnews recall that telecom customers reduced from 155m in January to 144m in December, records from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) showed, that is about 11m reduction in their customers’ number.
This means that the telcos lost about N25bn voice revenue, based on monthly average revenue per user of $4 (N 1,220) which is the current industry benchmark. But this year, projections by operators and experts show that the four big telecoms operators and other smaller ones may further lose as much as between 15m and 20m of their customers.
In the same vein, the Nigerian telecommunications industry is currently plagued by massive interconnect debt. The verified figure is put at N60bn, the unverified is said to be around N1.27tn.
This massive interconnects debt valued at more than N60bn need urgent attention as it is threatening the nation’s telecommunications industry.
“Interconnect debt results when an operator fails to settle the cost of termination of service rendered to it by another operator in the industry.
“Interconnection is important in the telecoms industry because it enables the subscriber to experience the smoothness of a connected or one network. Thus, with interconnection, a subscriber does not care and does not need to know whether the person at the other end of the network subscribes to another network operator.
Investigations revealed that but for the stringent conditions put in place for disconnection by the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, some operators would have been disconnected as a result of high interconnect debt.