Despite the rising inflation across sectors of the economy and globally, telecommunications operators in Nigeria are still rolling out more affordable tariff plans. This is according to a newly approved tariff plan for MTN, Airtel, and 9Mobile by the Nigerian Communications Commission.
This is coming barely two months after the NCC had rejected plans by the telcos to increase tariffs due to the rising cost of diesel, which increased their operating costs. The new tariff plans coming with different packages have been scheduled to be rolled out by the operators later this month and in early or mid-August.
Airtel, for instance, is to roll out Smart value Tariff Plan by August the 5th. According to the telco, this is a voice-only plan that allows all calls (Onnet/offnet) to be charged at a flat rate of N9.22/min. The plan will also offer subscribers calls to 5 international countries (USA, UK, Canada, India, and China) at 55k/sec while calls to other countries will be charged at standard rates.
Similarly, MTN has applied and got approval for the extension of its MTN Yafun Yafun promotion, which offers subscribers 8x the value (700% bonus) on all recharges done via physical, logical, and VTU recharge channels. The promo is to kick off by August 16, according to the NCC’s record.
Other newly approved tariff plans
- Airtel is to also roll out Airtel 20x Plan, a bundle plan that offers subscribers 20 times the airtime value for voice and data. This is to kick off on August 6, 2022.
- 9Mobile also got approval for its Morelife Complete, a tariff plan segment for high-value subscribers. It provides a flat tariff for voice calls to all networks and 11 international destinations for a daily access fee of N5.12. This is to be rolled out on July 16, 2022.
- On July 11, 2022, MTN kicked off its modified Xtra Special Bundle, a plan that offers subscribers a standard rate of 13.33k/sec (N8/min) to all local and selected International destinations as well as data bundles specifically for subscribers on the plan.
The telcos had earlier in May written a letter to the NCC for an increase in tariffs for telecommunications services. In the letter, the telecom companies said there had been a 40% increase in the cost of doing business in the nation. According to them, the telecommunication industry has been financially impacted following the nation’s economic recession in 2020 and the effect of the ongoing Ukraine/Russia crisis. They said this had resulted in an increase in energy costs, increasing their operating expenses by 35%.
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This was, however, rejected by the regulator. While acknowledging that the operators might have a justifiable reason for the request which was sent to it in a letter, the Commission said there would not be any cost review in the telecom sector until empirical studies are conducted to ascertain if increments are necessary.