MTN seeks clarification of NCC’s dominance report

7 May 2013

MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, is looking to enter into talks with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as it seeks to clarify a report by the regulator that designated it as a dominant player in the market. ‘At no time have we dropped prices to below the market, we’ve always followed the market,’ Bloomberg quotes MTN Nigeria’s CEO Brett Goschen as saying, adding that the company will need to discuss with the NCC how the watchdog arrived at the conclusion that the mobile market is not sufficiently competitive. As reported by CommsUpdate, late last month the NCC published its findings from a ‘Study of the Assessment of the Level of Competition in Nigerian Telecommunications Industry’, which determined that MTN Nigeria is a dominant player in the mobile voice segment, with a market share of approximately 44%. The regulator said that calls between MTN customers cost a third of the price of calls to other networks and amounted to ‘a calling club’ for MTN subscribers. As such, the South African-owned operator is required to adhere to a number of obligations, including accounting separation and the introduction of equal rates for on-net and off-net tariffs (which will then be subject to periodic review). The NCC is not specific on whether MTN needs to raise or cut its tariffs, however, and has not said that the company has abused its market position, Goschen said, adding that he expects a meeting to take place between MTN and senior NCC officials next week: ‘We are engaging with them… We’ll have a meeting and clarify some of these issues.’