Telecom operators, subscribers seek overhaul of CDMA network

GSM operators in Nigeria

Code Division Multiple Access need a total overhaul, telecomm subscribers say.


The National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers, NATCOMS, on Wednesday called for a total overhaul of the Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, sector of the telecom industry for better service delivery.

The NATCOMS President, Deolu Ogunbanjo, said in Lagos that the troubled CDMA sector was only struggling to survive the stiff competition in a GSM-dominated market.

The CDMA operators, also known as private telephone operators in Nigeria, include Multilinks, Intercelullar, Visafone, MTS and Starcomms.

Mr. Ogunbanjo said the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, should assist the CDMA operators to reposition themselves to make them compete favourably with the GSM operators.

He said that CDMA operators had found it difficult to survive the stiff competition in the industry.

“For some years now, CDMA operators have been at a disadvantage to compete with other telecommunications companies as a result of low capitalization,” he said. “Poor promotion of CDMA technology, subscribers’ preference for GSM telephones, and corporate governance issues has also seen the fortune of CDMA falling.”

Quoting a June 2012 report of the NCC, the NATCOMS president said that connected GSM lines grew by 1.29 per cent, CDMA lines by 0.91 per cent and Fixed (Wired/Wireless) lines by 0.07 per cent in May 2012.

Mr. Ogunbanjo said that the proposed merger of Multilinks, MTS and Starcomms to become CAPCOM could be a wind of change and a lifeline for the troubled CDMA sector.

The President, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Lanre Ajayi, blamed the inability of CDMA operators to compete with the GSM on the low scale of their operation.

“When you operate on a low scale in the same industry with people on a bigger scale, you are prone to be at a disadvantage,” Mr. Ajayi said.

He said the capital of CDMA operators is relatively small compared with the capital-intensive GSM operators.

“To that extent, the unit cost of production of service will be a little bit higher because you operate on a lower scale and that makes you uncompetitive,” Mr. Ajayi said.

He said the merger of some CDMA operators was an attempt to scale up their operation.

Mr. Ajayi said it was good that the troubled CDMA operators had identified their weaknesses and were now ready to scale up.

“I believe that the proposed plan to merge will make them grow bigger and compete favourably with the GSM operators,” he said.


Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility


Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.


NEVER MISS A THING AGAIN! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.