NCC queries MTN, Airtel, Etisalat over poor service

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has queried the major mobile network operators — MTN, Airtel and Etisalat — on the deteriorating quality of service.

It has also appealed to the central bank to make forex available for the operators to address the issue of network failures.

In a statement on Monday, Tony Ojobo, director public affairs of the NCC, said Umar Danbatta, professor and vice-chairman of the commission, held an interactive session with the operators in Abuja on the quality of service delivery.

Danbatta said that the consumer had to be treated with dignity even as all hands should be on deck to achieve good quality of service.

He asked the operators and co-location service operators should come up with suggestions to address the situation.

The vice-chairman also said that NCC had appealed to the CBN to make forex available to operators in the bid to ameliorate the recurrent inaccessibility to foreign exchange.

“And we have sent this report to our task force on QoS (quality of service) and have been interacting with government at different levels as part of the measures to deal with the poor QoS,” he said.

“Specifically, as a follow up to the letter, the executive commissioner, stakeholders management, NCC, Mr Sunday Dare had a meeting with the CBN governor and extracted a commitment from him on how he hoped to address the FOREX needs of the operators.”

Fidelis Ona, director of technical standards and network integrity of NCC, noted that some of the challenges faced by the operators included Right of Way (RoW), Force Majeure, difficulty in acquiring new cell sites, multiple taxation and regulation, vandalism, power supply among others.

“We are engaging stakeholders, including industry working group on QoS, special committee on Counter Harmonisation to address this,” he said.

Hassan Jamil, the chief technical officer of MTN Nigeria, said the demand for both voice and data services were on the rise but they were unable to catch up on investment because of scarce forex availability.

“We planned 100 sites for Abuja but after a very long time, we were only able to build six because of the bottlenecks of getting approvals and until we resolve these, quality of service will be a mirage,” Jamil said.

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