Value Added Services in the telecoms industry shrunk by 74 per cent in two years as subscribers continued to opt-out of unsolicited messages through the ‘Do Not Disturb’ option.
Stakeholders in the industry made this known at the 2019 Nigeria Value Added Service stakeholder’s forum organised by the Nigerian Communications Commission in Lagos.
According to the VAS providers, the industry valued at N300bn two years ago now generate only N79bn annually.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, the Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC, Bako Wakil, said the purpose for the introduction of DND was not to bring down the VAS market but to protect the interests of customers.
According to him, if the industry has come together to provide a solution to the DND issues, the commission will examine the solution proffered and see if it is acceptable.
The regulator said it had introduced 2442 Do-Not-Disturb shortcode activation for subscribers who did not wish to receive unsolicited text messages, while a toll-free line was provided for consumers to report issues related to unsolicited messages and data renewals, among others.
Wakil said, “Two years ago, the industry was over N300bn but the figure we got today showed that the industry is about N79bn and it is declining and this is because of the introduction of DND.
“The intention is not to bring down the market or the performance of the sector but as a regulator, we considered the consumers, with the kind of money they are losing without their consent.
“We have to address the needs of the consumers even though that has affected the investment in that sector. if we get any solution that will take into cognisance the concerns of the consumers, we will look into it and implement t so that the sector will bounce back to its former glory.”
In his opening remarks, the director described the VAS stakeholders’ forum as one of the many laudable initiatives embarked by the commission to develop effective partnerships and collaboration with relevant stakeholders for sustainable ICT development and social advancement.