Telcoms giant sues NCC, MTN

Etisalat is contending that MTN's 'Family and Friends' promo is posing a threat to its business survival.

Etisalat is one the biggest network providers in Nigeria

Reports reveal that Etisalat Telecommunication Company has dragged the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State over claims that the South African telecommunication company, MTN, has been given market advantage over it.

According to the Tribune, Aanu Ogunro, counsel for Etisalat, at Tuesday's proceedings appeared before Justice Mohammed Idris with an application seeking the leave of the court for the suit to be heard during the court's ongoing annual vacation.

Ogunro, while urging the judge to hear the suit, said it was urgent, claiming that if the decision of the NCC in favour of MTN was not reversed, it posed a threat to the business survival of Etisalat, according to sources.

"My lord, we have a motion ex-parte for leave to ask for the judicial review of the decision of the first respondent. The urgency in this matter is that the first respondent has made certain decisions that, if not urgently addressed, will affect the business of the applicant and it is capable of eroding the capital and the business of the applicant within a very short time," Ogunro said.

The Tribune reports that after hearing the lawyer, the judge granted the application to hear the suit during vacation and thereafter adjourned till August 3 to take the substantive application.

Etisalat, in the main suit, is seeking a redress of a decision allegedly taken by NCC allowing 30 per cent differential between MTN's off-net and on-net retail mobile voice tariffs.

According to sources, Etisalat said with the 30 per cent differential between its off-net and on-net retail mobile voice tariffs, MTN had been able to create what is called a 'calling club,' an example of which is its 'Family and Friends' promo.

Etisalat is contending that MTN's 'Family and Friends' promo, which offers a call rate of 11 kobo per second to eight MTN subscribers and two non-MTN subscribers, is posing a threat to its business survival.

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