Reasons Small Operators Fail In Nigeria
By Pelumi Olaleye
Chairman Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON),Mr Gbenga Adebayo, has identified why bigger operators survive better than smaller operators in Nigeria.
He gave the indepth rationale during the Stakeholders’ Forum on the Study on the Level of Competition in the Telecommunications Industry in Nigeria, which held at the Digital Bridge Institute recently.
According to him,studies and reports have shown that bigger operators tend to survive owing to stability , deep pocket , tax incentives and waivers from the government as well as the wherewithal to thrive than smaller ones.
Said he: “When I took the role as Chairman ALTON, i was overseeing about 35 strong operating companies, but today, we are about 16, meaning that ,we have lost half of our members due to forces of competition, market forces, challenges of investment, access to funds.
Adebayo, explained that studies like this should be done so that we begin to see the causes of some deaths in telecoms companies.
“Technology is driving the market. It is no longer static and there is a need for the regulator to begin to look at issues of regulatory technology and not services.
“For example, the likes of YouTube, Facebook and WhatsApp, WhatsCall, all of these are over the top services and are not part of the core services when operators were licensed.
“Those kind of services have security, economic and social implications. If they are not licensed that means that they are not regulated, and if they are not regulated, there is no limit of scope to what they can do. There is actually no control over the kind of services or content they may provide.”
“We are saying that there is a need for the regulator to begin to look away at the mutuality of technology, and rather look at technology classification and regulation, than those licenses or services. Not only because of the social security implications, but because of the economic implications on the operators.”