NCC publishes national roaming guidelines

8 Jul 2021

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has published its ‘Guidelines on National Roaming’, which prescribe a regulatory framework for the implementation of national roaming services in Nigeria. According to the guidelines, licensed service providers shall request and negotiate national roaming agreements with each other on bilateral and non-discriminatory terms, while multiple agreements can be signed with different operators in the same or different clusters. Different technologies (including 2G, 3G and 4G) and services (such as voice, data and SMS) are supported under the guidelines, provided that roamers shall not enjoy services not offered by the home network. National roaming services shall not exceed three years from the date of execution of the agreement, although the NCC reserves the right to permit parties to renew the national roaming agreement for a further three years.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the NCC approved a trial of national roaming services between MTN Nigeria and 9mobile for a period of three months, from 1 August to 31 October 2020. The trial took place in a number of local governments, designated as the ‘National Roaming geographic area’, in Ondo State. Following the conclusion of this, in early 2021 it was reported that the pair plan to seek regulatory permission to roll out national roaming on their respective mobile networks on a wider scale.