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UPDATED: NCC Estimates VAS market value to reach $500m by 2023

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  • VAS Aggregator Framework will further boost the segment- EVC
  • Consumers Stand to gain from VAS- Dare

 

The Value Added Service (VAS) segment of the telecommunications market in Nigeria will reach $500m within the next five years, says the industry regulator- the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). 

Similarly, NCC expressed that the VAS segment needs further reform hence subscribers should not completely shut out unsolicited messages from telecoms or VAS operators.

NCC reasons that 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 opening presentation at the recent 83rd Edition of the Telecoms Consumer Parliament (TCP) held  at the Digital Bridge Institute, Cappa, Oshodi, Lagos on the theme: ‘Value Added Services and Its Benefits to the Consumers’, the Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar 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.

Cross section of some Mobile Network Operators, Regulator and Consumer Advocacy Groups. (Image Credit: NCC)

Danbatta noted that VAS enables in a very special way, social media and e-commerce activities that might be useful to the Consumer while offering a veritable tool for entrepreneurs and businesses in 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.”

L-R: Director Consumer Affairs Bureau, Felicia Onwuegbuchulam; Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta; Executive Commissioner Stakeholder Management, Sunday Dare and Deputy Director Consumer Affairs Bureau,Ismail Adedigba, all from NCC. (image credit: NCC)

The EVC said that 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.

Ridding on EVC’s speech, NCC’s new Director, Consumer Affairs, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, also noted that despite its challenges, the VAS segment is a hub for job creation and a huge revenue spinner for the industry. She disclosed that the Nigeria VAS market, which was valued at N72 billion ( $200 million)  in 2016, is estimated to grow $500 million over the next five years.

According to Mrs. Onwuegbuchulam, VAS Aggregator Framework will further boost the segment.

She said, “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.

Also speaking, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, advised that there are potentials for explosive growth in the VAS market going by numerous activities and innovation in the telecoms sub-sector.

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.

Management of NCC and participants at the TCP event during the National Anthem.