*NCC VAS Aggregator Framework to boost market
IT NEWS NIGERIA:
Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) has revealed that the nation’s Telecoms Value Added Service (VAS) market is expected to hit N180 billion ($500m) in 2021 and that its VAS Aggregator Framework will further boost the segment.
NCC’s new Director, Consumer Affairs, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam revealed this at 83rdEdition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) at Digital Bridge Institute (DBI), Lagos with the theme: Value Added Services and Its Benefits to Consumers.
“Nigeria VAS market was valued at N72 billion ( $200 million) in 2016 and estimated to grow $500 million over the next five years”, she said.
NCC said VAS segment of the industry despite its challenges is no doubt a hub for employment opportunities, huge revenue generation and national economic development. It must therefore accord necessary regulatory intervention to realize its full potentials.
The Commission advises subscribers not to completely shut out unsolicited messages from telecoms or VAS operators because such messages offer opportunities especially those in search of jobs as the platform is a rich source of information for every phone user.
In his remark, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare said there is potentials for explosive growth in the VAS market going by numerous activities and innovation in the telecoms subsector.
According to him, “the $500 million VAS estimate is even a conservative figure going by the VAS aggregator license being implemented by the commission,” adding that, the efforts in that area will further act as a major boost in the telecoms value added market.
The Commission on March 1, 2018 held a Consultative Forum on Value Added Services Aggregator Framework at the Commission’s head office in Abuja. The Forum is one of a series of Consultations started by the Commission since early last year with different stakeholders of the VAS sub- sector of the industry to discuss and fine-tune the framework’s regulatory intervention.
In his opening presentation to declare the TCP open, Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta said the Value Added Service is an important element of the telecom ecosystem necessary for optimizing the benefits of telecom service to the consumers.
Danbatta noted that VAS enables in a very special way, social media and e-commerce activities that might be useful to the Consumer while offeringa veritable tool for entrepreneurs and businessesin this modern and mobile age of the Internet of Things (IoTs).
“Whereas VAS could be very useful and provide services that may interest consumers and assist online and offline entrepreneurs to reach customers, particularly on the mobile markets both to advertise and to sell their products and services; on the other hand it could become a challenge, flooding the networks and thus consumers with all kinds of product offering that most consumers may not be interested in.”
“The Commission therefore deems it fit to find a balance between enabling the opportunities that the VAS providers offer to some consumers, while at the same time mitigating the challenges or inconvenience they could constitute to other consumers. Thus, while service providers are licensed by the Commission and are allowed to operate and provide value added services to consumers, the consumers are empowered through the DND facility to choose whether to allow or block access to these services on a full or partial basis.”
“The recent reform the Commission embarks on in the VAS segment of the market is a further recognition of significant role of VAS in the entire telecom ecosystem.”
“The Aggregator framework designed by the Commission in consultation with industry players is to be adopted to enhance regulatory excellence and ease the operations of VAS provision in the Nigeria’s telecoms industry. The addition of the VAS Aggregator player to the original Value chain (Content Developer- VAS Provider- Network Service Provider) will lead to the recreation of the value chain into a framework of Content Developer- VAS Service Provider- VAS Aggregator- Network Service Provider. The overall aim of this reform is to ensure fairness in the entire VAS value chains.”
“The Commission considers it necessary therefore to educate consumers regarding these exciting services so that they can understand and appreciate their potential benefits and take maximum advantages of the services. This is to ensure adequate patronage by the consumers and guarantee sustainability of the VAS sub sector of telecom market.”