NCC gives GSM networks seven days to buck up their ideas

19 Jun 2007

Nigeria’s four GSM operators will receive sanctions from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) next week for poor quality of service to their customers, reports local paper the Tribune. The decision to sanction the operators comes after six years of persistent complaints from subscribers over dwindling quality of services. A source in the NCC said yesterday that the operators would be fined NGN500,000 (USD4,000) for each area in which they failed to render good service from next week. The source said the NCC has sent ‘directions’ to the operators to improve their service within seven days or ‘risk the hammer of the regulator’. Areas of concern include wrong billing, bounced SMS, dropped calls, unregistered and fraudulent marketing and poor treatment of customers by call centre staff. Another source at the NCC said that ‘directions’ was a technical term used in the telecom industry meaning ‘indictment for poor operation’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Nigeria’s four GSM operators are, in order of market share: MTN Nigeria, Glo Mobile, Celtel Nigeria and M-Tel. They shared a total of just under 28 million subscribers at the end of 2006.