The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has suspended the planned increase in the price of internet data as from December 1.
The commission’s spokesman, Tony Ojobor, in a statement, says it suspends the decision after consultations with industry stakeholders and complaints from consumers.
Ojobor, however, explains that the new data price which would have raised the price of data to ninety kobo per megabyte, aims at protecting small operators and new entrants from anti-competitive practice by major GSM operators.
For instance, Ojobor says small operators and new entrants are to be exempted from the new data price, now suspended.
The commission reversed its directive to the mobile phone service providers, hours after the senate asked it to stop the planned increase in the price of internet data.
The Senate on Wednesday November 30 asked NCC to put the planned increase on hold, arguing that before such an increase, the major stakeholders must be carried along.
On November 1, the Commission, after a consultative meeting on October 19 with all mobile network operators in the country, wrote to them on the need to determine an interim price floor for data services.
Prior to the now suspended price floor of ninety kobo per megabyte, the industry average for dominant operators was fifty three kobo per megabyte.
A comparison of the data prices by the major operators with that initially proposed by NCC shows that but for the reversal, majority of Nigerians would have had to pay between 90 and 300 per cent increase in data prices.