HomeNewsATCIS Demands End to Multichoice Monopoly in Nigeria's Pay TV Industry

ATCIS Demands End to Multichoice Monopoly in Nigeria’s Pay TV Industry

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The Association of Telephone, Cable TV and Internet Subscribers of Nigeria (ATCIS) has urged the Federal Government to dismantle the monopoly held by Multichoice in the pay-TV sector, advocating for a level playing field for all players in the industry.

During a press conference in Lagos, ATCIS-Nigeria’s National President, Mr. Sina Bilesanmi, expressed concerns over the consistent tariff hikes by Multichoice, the dominant force in the broadcast sub-sector. Bilesanmi accused Multichoice of unapologetically increasing its subscription fees, adversely affecting ATCIS members.

According to a report by The Sun, Bilesanmi highlighted the contrast between the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), praising the latter for prioritizing consumer protection through its consumer affairs department. He called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene, drawing parallels with the GSM industry’s evolution, where initial claims of technological limitations were overcome by new entrants like Globacom.

He further advocated for the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to scrutinize the pay-TV sector, emphasizing the need for subscription roll-over options for consumers. Bilesanmi likened this to past practices in the GSM sector, where subscribers’ airtime was tied to limited validity, a practice now obsolete due to regulatory changes.

On the topic of telecommunications, the ATCIS President noted the increase in subscriber figures but lamented the declining service quality, especially with the approaching festive season. He cited issues like dropped calls and network congestion, urging operators to improve their services and calling for faster approvals from authorities for infrastructure expansion.

Bilesanmi made a special appeal to President Tinubu and FCT Minister Nyesom Wike to facilitate approvals for telecom infrastructure in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, which has been pending for almost a decade.

Addressing the rollout of 5G technology in Nigeria, Bilesanmi pointed out that while companies like MTN, Airtel, and Mafab have launched 5G services, the high cost of compatible devices makes it inaccessible to many, with 5G routers priced as high as N50,000 in a country where the minimum wage is N30,000. He appealed to the federal government for intervention to make this technology more affordable and accessible to a broader range of consumers.

SourceThe Sun

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