The Nigeria Communications Commission, NCC, has ordered major telecoms firms in the country to adopt a data price floor for internet services.

According to a report from The Cable, NCC directed that the new (interim) price floor for data services will now be 0.90k/MB for “big operator.” This means N90 for 100MB or N900 for approximately 1GB.

This “rate will subsist pending the finalisation of the study on the determination of cost-based pricing for retail broadband and data services in Nigeria,” the regulator said.

It added that the directive is “in order to provide a level playing field for all operators in the industry [allowing] small operators and new entrants to acquire market share and operate profitably. Small operators and new entrants are hereby exempted for the price floor for data services.”

“For the avoidance of doubt a small operator is one that has less than 7.5 percent market share and a new entrant is an operator that has operated less than three years in the market.”

The NCC, when it removed the data price floor last year had introduced a caveat which said it reserved the right to make changes to data floor prices if it deems it necessary.

According to reports, NCC is trying to protect operators like Smile, Spectranet and Ntel. There are rumors that Ntel brought about the price change by complaining bitterly to the NCC that “market is hard,” because the big telecos are now into 4G, which used to be their fort.

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