The new international termination rate (ITR) for voice calls has been set at $0.045 by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
The NCC said the new rate which is paid to local operators by international operators to terminate calls in Nigeria, will be effective from January 1, 2022. This will replace the initial rate which was paid in Naira and pegged at N24.40k.
According to the commission, the ITR being denominated in naira had multiple negative impacts on operators, which was further exacerbated by a series of naira devaluations, which ultimately pushed Nigeria from being a net receiver with respect to international minutes to a net payer.
The new directive will ensure that mobile network providers in Nigeria will begin receiving revenue from all international calls in US dollars.
NCC said in a statement;
“The $0.045 rate is the floor price for ITR services and shall take effect from January 1, 2022. The rate is to be paid in US Dollar to enable Nigerian operators to receive an increasing rate in Naira terms to accommodate devaluation.
“No licensee shall charge and/or receive effective rate per minute below determined ITR floor rate.
“As such, payment discounts, volume discounts, and any other concession that has the effect of bringing the effective ITR lower than the rate determined shall be deemed a contravention of the new determination and will attract sanctions in line with the Nigerian Communications (Enforcement process, etc.) Regulations, 2019.”
The NCC explained that the ITR floor is the minimum that can be charged. This implies that operators can negotiate with their international carriers/partners to arrive at a rate above the floor.
While the ITR only settles the cost of bringing traffic into Nigeria, the commission disclosed that Nigerian operators will continue to pay the regulated MTR, which is the local termination rate, among themselves.
The MTRs of N3.90 (for generic 2G/3G/4G operators) and N4.70 (for new entrant operators) determined in 2018 would continue to apply for local call terminations until a new determination is made by the commission.