Activities of the ‘Do-Not-Disturb’ (DND) cost players in the Value Added Service (VAS) segment of Nigeria’s telecommunications industry N221 billion in the last two years.
National Coordinator, Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria (WASPAN), Chijioke Ezeh, disclosed that the VAS industry, which was valued at N300 billion, has dropped to N79 billion.
Attributing the loss to the introduction of the DND by the NCC, Ezeh said the regulator had no intention to kill the VAS industry but to protect telecoms subscribers from getting unsolicited text messages and advertisements from service providers.
Eze’s words: “Two years ago, the VAS industry was worth over N300 billion, but the figure we got today shows it has dropped to N79 billion, which shows it is declining in value, but this is because of the introduction of the DND. The intention was not to bring down the market or the performance of this sector of the economy, but to regulate it as an industry regulator. Our concern was more on the Nigerian consumers who were crying about the kind of money they were losing to DND without their consent. So, we have to address the needs of the consumers, even though this has affected investment in that sector.
“But then, at the end of the day, the consumer is the king. The NCC had to introduce the DND shortcode to stop the messages. If the subscriber does not want such messages, all he or she needed to do was to subscribe to the shortcode, and the messages will automatically stop.”
What you should know: The NCC had in July 2016, effected the DND facility to the telecom service providers, which gives subscribers the freedom to choose what messages to receive from the various networks. With the directive, the operators were mandated to dedicate a common Short Code (2442) which will enable subscribers to make informed decisions.
The NCC introduced the DND facility to protect subscribers from the nuisance of unsolicited texts.