Telecom association flays Lagos, other States over operators’ expansion difficulties


nigeria_gsm_etworksMr Gbenga Adebayo, Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunication Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), on Thursday said telecom operators were experiencing difficulties in expanding their networks capacity to optimal levels.

Adebayo said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said that the expansion could not be done effectively because telecom operators still had issues to settle with some state governments.

The ALTON chief said that the inaction of some state governments was delaying them in dealing with the issue of persistent poor quality of service experienced by the 130 million subscribers.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), had on May 2013, warned all the operators to improve on their networks or face further sanctions.

Adebayo said that expansion of network capacity in the under-served and un-served areas was important to meet the growing numbers of subscribers on the network.

“Granting us the Right of Way (ROW) will allow us to erect more fibre optic cables and we still needed to build more base stations where quality of service is still low,” he said.

The chairman said that some state governments had not granted them the approval to upgrade their network to capacity level that could solve the problem associated with poor service.

“Poor quality of service is a combination of many issues affecting it.

“We have capacity issue and we can’t expand because the Lagos State Government, in particular, could not grant any approval for expansion

“For now, we are still in discussion with the government and we are hoping that the approval issue will be resolved soon.

“Another issue is the multiple taxation and regulation by government agencies.

“This is one of the major problems of poor service that we are experiencing in the industry,’’ he said.

The ALTON official said that closing down of one base station could indirectly affect the network of other telecom infrastructure in other areas.

He said that any agency of government that had any issue with the status of base station should first seek for court order before closing it down.

“We take exception to their action and we are saying that no matter what, any agency of government that should close down any base station should first seek for court order.”

Adebayo condemned the recent disconnection of some telecommunication installations by the National Environmental Standard Regulatory Agency (NESREA), saying that the agency did not follow due procedure.

“It is very unfortunate and our concern is not just on the commercial losses, but on the impact on quality of services.

“It is sad that an agency of government would subject operators and Nigerians to that kind of hardship,” he said.

Adebayo called on the Federal Government to urgently classify telecom infrastructure as a national security infrastructure to protect it from being tampered with.



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