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Published On: Tue, Feb 25th, 2014

NCC Fines MTN, Airtel, Glo N647.5m for Poor Service Quality …Bars Sale of SIM Cards, Promo

LAGOS FEBRUARY 25TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined Airtel, Globacom and MTN the sum of N647, 500,000 million for failing to meet the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for quality of service in the month of January this year.
Consequently, the three companies have been barred from further sale of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards with effect from next month. They are also barred from all promotions on their networks until they improve on the failed KPIs for which they are sanctioned.

According to a statement, the details of the sanction showed that Airtel Network Ltd, and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, are to pay a fine of N185 million each while Globacom Ltd is to pay N277,500. In addition, each of the operators must pay the sanction amount on or before March 7 failure upon which each will be liable to pay N2,500,000 per day as long as the contravention persists.
The sanctions, which were communicated to the three operators in a letter signed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Commission will carry out an audit of the three companies on March 1 and March 31 to ensure that no sale of new SIM cards takes place in any of the three networks within the period.
The letter made reference to an earlier directive of December 10 last year which warned the operators that “if the quality of service does not improve by 31st December, 2013, the Commission will be compelled to direct operators to, among others, suspend the activation of new SIMs and subscribers until such an operator can prove that it has met the KPIs specified in the regulations”.
According to Dr. Juwah, “ the Commission after careful collation of statistics from the Network Operating Centres (NOC) of all major networks operators for the month of January, has concluded that the service provided by some of the operators during the period fell below the KPIs published by the Commission in the Quality of Service Regulations, as amended.”
While the Association of Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecoms Companies of Nigeria (ALTON) have insisted that sanctions will not address the service quality problem, the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers (NATCOMS) has said the benefit of sanctions should go to subscribers.
Its President, Deolu Ogunbanjo said such compensation for poor service quality could come by way of free air time to the subscribers. “The government earns revenue from the calls we make. The fines are paid to the coffers of the government without any direct benefits to the subscribers who suffer from the inadequacies of the operator,” he said.
NCC added that the service providers shall not churn or delete inactive or (none revenue generating SIMs) from their networks during the period of March 1 to 31, warning that “any deviation or alteration of provisioning pattern (in terms of average daily number of provisioning) in the remaining days of February this year compared to the regular provisioning rates by the concerned service providers shall be construed as a breach to the directive.
Source– The Nation.

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