The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) on Wednesday called for policy flexibility in favour of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) operators.
The ALTON Chairman, Mr Gbenga Adebayo, disclosed in Lagos that the Federal Government should give the operators access to capital and other incentives to survive.
“With the declining CDMA operation in Nigeria, there is urgent need to help the operators remain in business in order to allow for the continuity of their operations, which has cheaper tariff than GSM service,” he said.
Adebayo called on telecommunications regulators to revisit the interconnect rate model and give preferential treatment to CDMA operators.
CDMA is a wireless communication technology that allows multiple people to use a single radio channel at the same time with little interference and very high security.
Adebayo said that CDMA operators still existed and had subscribers but were not as prominent as they used to be.
“The fact remains that the choice of technology being used now does not favour CDMA operators,’’ He said.
The chairman noted that CDMA lines were mostly used in the country in the past.
He said that the use of the CDMA lines was reduced as a result of stiff competition with GSM operators.
Adebayo said that GSM operators churned out innovative and exciting products for subscribers and lowered call tariffs and SIM cards, causing decline in the number of subscribers on CDMA network.
Adebayo said that GSM operators’ subscriber base had continued to rise to the disadvantage of CDMA operators.
According to statistics released by the Nigeria Communications Commission for 2018, active mobile telephone lines in Nigeria rose from 149 million in March to 160 million in April.
The CDMA for active mobile lines had 217,566 users in April as in March, showing that while the number of GSM lines increased, CDMA active lines remained stagnant.
Reacting to the situation, Adebayo said: “CDMA operators need to review their business model to be able to compete with the GSM operators.” (NAN)