OTT: NCC tackles undue competition facing telcos

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The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Professor Garba Danbatta, says his commission is currently mulling several possible solutions to the undue competition facing telcos, following the emergence of Over The Top (OTT) service providers.

Addressing participants who were gathered for the 2018 communications annual stakeholders’ meeting on Tuesday in Lagos, Prof. Danbatta said the NCC has always acknowledged the impact of disruptive technology in the sector and the challenges it poses to telcos in terms of competition for market share.

He also stated that following persistent complaints from telcos, that the commission is considering possible solutions to the situation.

“Licensees had drawn attention to the impact on their operations and viability, and the NCC is actively weighing alternatives.

“I am aware that players in the sector are struggling to innovate and to deploy creative ideas for remaining relevant in an age when the life cycle of a concept is barely longer than six months. I assure you of the full support of the NCC in this quest.

“Even as we gather here to ponder individual and collective responses to the disruption by emerging technologies, new discoveries and inventions are coming out that could diminish the value of investments being made in the telecoms sector. But are we to allow the sector to be forced into inaction because of the pace at which new technologies and systems are emerging? The response is no.” – Danbatta

In the meantime, Danbatta reiterated that the NCC requires all licensed firms in the sector to always ensure that their operations conform to the code of conduct guiding operators.

Note that Over The Top (OTT) service providers typically bypass the likes of telecom operators and broadcast television networks to distribute streaming media contents directly to the viewers.

Some examples of OTT providers include IrokoTV, Afrinolly, Netflix, Amazon Web Service, Hulu, etc.