ALTON seeks better inter-network operations among operators
- posted 2011-08-11
To further mitigate the increasing difficulties of getting a call through, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), has called on telecoms operators in the country to harmonise their inter-network operations so as to improve the falling standard in the quality of service been rendered to subscribers.
This charge came from ALTON's President Mr.Gbenga Adebayo at the weekend, when the association paid a courtesy visit to the Chief Executive Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Rajaan Swaroop in his office.
Adebayo explained that more robust inter-network operations among the various operators in the country would go a long way to restore confidence in the telecoms sector and further expand the subscribers' base.
Besides, he said that ALTON's position on the issue of QoS in the country was that poor power supply, insecurity of telecoms infrastructure and personnel, capacity issues and multiple taxation were responsible for poor network quality among others in the country.
He called on the Federal Government to stay committed to its promise of solving the power supply problem in the country.
The ALTON boss also reiterated the call various support from the government, so as to be able to restore live in some ailing telecoms organisations, which he said were dieing gradually.
According to him, an incentive-based bail-out plan for ailing telecoms operators from the Federal Government would boost sustainable growth in the sector, stressing that the association had made its position on the matter known to the Nigerian Communications Commission.
"We had made representation to the NCC to develop an incentive-based bail-out plan for the industry by granting exemptions, waivers or rebates on certain portions of the levy to ailing operators as a means of providing regulatory support, considering AOL payment suspension and reduction of dues payable to the commission, which will further assure the sustainable growth of the industry," he said.
Adebayo emphasised that the association was committed to enhancing growth in the Nigerian Information Communications Technology sector, while ensuring a healthy balance between market growth, profitability for the operators and efficient as well as affordable service delivery to subscribers.
He noted that ALTON had, since its inception, achieved major milestones in fostering good relations in the telecoms sector adding that the association would continue to play a key role in market regulation and development of the industry.
Adebayo further said that ALTONhad been involved in several interventions on behalf of its members on a number of issues such as multiple taxation, interconnection rate determination, market competition and unfavourable government policies.
ALTON commended Airtel Nigeria for starting the tariff war in the country, saying, "I commend you for the good role Airtel is playing in engendering competition in the industry. I must say we are thankful to you and your entire management team for making us proud as an industry and for providing affordable services to Nigeria."
He urged the management of Airtel to work on the quality of service challenges faced by its numerous customers. Adebayo said: I urge you in the days ahead to remember always the challenges we face with quality of services and please continue in your effort to offer affordable services at the highest best quality.
"We must not place quality issues above price and be mindful of impact of price reduction on our service quality." Responding, Swaroop said that infrastructure deficit was a major huddle for all telecoms operators in the country, adding that energy cost was one of the biggest operational costs the company had to deal with.
The Airtel boss also urged ALTON to continue to advocate on behalf of operators, while urging the association to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Environment on the issue of approval for telecoms tower installations.
Swaroop said that it usually took more than 10 months for an operator to get an approval for tower erection, which always affected operators rollout plans.