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Credit: Mashable
Credit: Mashable
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has mandated telecommunication network operators in Nigeria, to charge four naira (N4) for Short Message Service (SMS), sent between them — from February 5. It is more than 50% reduction, from the usual, ten naira or nine naira, currently charged. NCC in a statement on this move submitted that, “In accordance with the powers conferred on the Commission, the following determination was made by the Commission: the Commission hereby sets a price cap of N4.00 (Four Naira only) for off-net SMS: the new rate shall be implemented within 30 days from the date of the directive.” The statement was signed by NCC’s Director for Legal and Regulatory Services, Josephine Amuwa, who said, that, “There was a general recognition that the cost of SMS is too high, especially in view of the interconnection rate of N1.20k (One Naira, Two Kobo Only) for SMS as determined by the Commission in 2009.” Text messages were very popular in the early years of GSM in Nigeria, and still are, but aren’t used as before, due to increasingly used smartphones, with applications – Twitter, Facebook Messenger, Blackberry Messenger, GTalk, WhatsApp and 2go – that allow short messaging. However, millions of text messages are still sent and over a billion naira expended – by subscribers – daily. The NCC has been seeking ways to amp up regulations, punishing poor network service and seeking to slash rates on voice calls – across. The SMS move, early into 2013, by NCC, is to networks – a bell of change, and to subscribers – an ally for fairness.

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This article was first published on 25th January 2013 and updated on March 27th, 2013 at 10:50 am

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