TELECOMS operators over the weekend blamed intermittent interruptions of seamless services on their networks on vandalism of base stations, destruction of optic fibre, high foreign exchange (forex) and shutting of base stations by government agencies, among others.
The President of Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria, (ATCON), Mr Olusola Teniola, made the clarification in an interview with newsmen in Lagos.
“There is a situation in the industry whereby the equipment to bring into the country to increase capacity is either delayed by government, or at the port, we are not given the right payment in time.
“Secondly, forex is high, but the equipment price has not reduced, making it very difficult to sustain investment in increasing our network coverage and capacity.
“Vandalism, theft and sabotage of our base stations’ equipment and base stations being shut down by different agencies demanding one tax after another do not help operators.
“We have incidents of optic fibre destruction, which impacts on traffic to be carried to and from one location or city to another.
“There is the need for security operatives to ensure that telecommunications equipment, which is a critical national infrastructure is protected,” the ATCON president said.
He urged that the Federal Government should ease the burden on service providers by expediting action on the issuance of relevant Right of Way (RoW) permits for operators.
According to Teniola, if all the issues affecting operators are resolved, quality of service would improve.
The ATCON president said that interruption during festive periods resulted from heavy traffic associated with such periods.
He said that some operators still use equipment bought 10 years ago, calling on the government to encourage the operators by investing in telecom equipment.
“During the festive period, it seems that intermittent interruptions are more because most of the calls are originating from Lagos to people that are living in the villages and the network capacity is not strong.
“There has not been any form of investment in equipment that will cater for additional traffic on the network since the past 10 years and this is not good for the industry.
“We need government to encourage us to bring in the needed equipment by investing in them and making FOREX available for operators,” he said.
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