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WASPAN seeks effective regulations for mVAS, lists benefits


HUGE benefits are assured for all stakeholders in the telecoms industry, if value-added services (VAS or mVAS) are run and overseen properly, companies offering VAS in Nigeria have said.

   The companies, in a joint release made under their trade body, Wireless Applications Service Providers Gte (WASPAN), said in order for 2015 not to mirror the draw-backs of 2014, the three key industry players (telecom operators, WASPs and NCC) need to start sharing thoughts among themselves as each party seems to yet have a different world view about how to make things work better.

   Coordinating Consultant for WASPAN, Simon Aderinlola said “What the Nigerian mVAS realm needs at present is to have at least these three parties engage in actionable conversation for a start.

  “Yes, OTT is changing the global mVAS landscape and Nigeria may be ready for MVNOs in another year or two, but for the here and now, the main constituents- Telco-WASP-NCC, are responsibly joined at the hip in ensuring that the Nigerian mVAS customer is both protected and remains profitably enthused for digital services.

  “Capitalist intents, either of a telecoms operator or a WASP (service provider), are valid in this playing field, but as long as the value chain construct defines these players as partners, such they shall remain, independent but mutually respectful and responsible in fulfilling their obligations. That deeper conversation on who is responsible for what, when, why, if not done then what – needs to be had ASAP,” he added.

   OTT (over-the-top) refers to delivery of audio, video and other media over the internet without the involvement of a telecom operator in the control or distribution of the content.

   While there are benefits of speed, service ideas understanding and tech know-how in direct dealings with the telecommunications operators, the service providers feel a nimble, hands-on and fleet-footed regulator’s eye on the pre and post-service launch process is good for all.

   “We did extensive research, have actionable recommendations on the regulator’s table and are happy to co-explore how best to adapt this to our market’s best fit.”

   WASPAN through its Steering Board called on the industry regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) to prioritize the proper development, supervision and growth of the VAS sub-sector in its 2015 plans.

   It lauded the thinking behind the year-old industry working group and the maiden VAS session held by the NCC on August 7th 2014, but feared that dust could gather on the recommendations if a follow-up session isn’t called within the first quarter of 2015 to set the tone for the rest of the year and operationalize the noble initiatives on the table.

   According to Simon, “All we ask for is a few sessions where these three parties’ delegates meet this quarter with a clear agenda to distill 2015 work together. The regulator cannot do it alone as its whip might either come down in a way perceived by telecommunications operators and WASPs as a bit too harsh or its actions may be somewhat blindsided”.

   WASPAN believes VAS in 2015 can be much better and calls for a collaborative alignment of roadmaps.

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