A group of operators warned the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) it must step in to save the industry from imminent collapse, business title Leadership Nigeria reported.

At a meeting with NCC executive vice chairman Umar Danbatta, the group of operators – which describe themselves as tier two and include Smile Communications, nTel and Spectranet – said there was looming systemic industry failure. This, they said, could even result in the collapse of a tier one operator.

According to the group, wireless companies are struggling to pay off loans and meet commitments to suppliers including network vendors and tower companies.

Executives from the companies cited spiraling operating costs set against a backdrop of flat revenue and an ever growing requirement for CAPEX investments which are difficult to justify.

They called on the NCC to intervene to protect all operators through measures including banning “predatory pricing” strategies being undertaken by some of Nigeria’s leading providers.

To further implore the authority to take action, the group said a collapse of an operator would have a grave knock-on impact on Nigeria’s economy and would hamper government attempts to improve connectivity.