NCC Approves Partial Disconnection of Globacom by MTN Over Interconnect Debt.

NCC
NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has approved the partial disconnection of Globacom by MTN due to the former’s refusal to settle interconnect debt.

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As a result, Globacom’s subscribers will be unable to make calls to any MTN numbers, while still being able to receive inbound calls from MTN customers.

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The Nigerian Communications Commission issued a public notice on Monday, stating that Globacom has been provided a 10-day notice period, starting from January 8, before the disconnection is enforced.

In the public notice, the Nigerian Communications Commission explained, “Globacom was notified of the application made by MTN and was allowed to comment and state its case.

The Commission, having examined the application and circumstances surrounding the indebtedness, determined that Globacom does not have sufficient or justifiable reason for non-payment of the interconnect charges.

The disconnection is following Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and Paragraph 9 of the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators, 2012.

The notice emphasizes that after the 10 days, Globacom subscribers will no longer be able to make calls to MTN, but they will still be able to receive calls. The partial disconnection will remain in effect until otherwise determined by the Commission.

Addressing the Long-standing Interconnect Debt Issue in Nigerian Telecom

The recent approval by the Nigerian Communications Commission for the partial disconnection of Globacom by MTN marks a significant step in addressing the persistent interconnect debt issue within the Nigerian telecom industry.

The move comes as a response to the telecom regulator’s efforts to tackle a problem that has long plagued the sector.

The interconnect debt problem, estimated at over N70 billion as of 2020 according to the immediate past Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof Umar Danbatta, has been a substantial obstacle to operators’ infrastructure expansion and the delivery of quality services.

Danbatta emphasized that resolving this issue is crucial for healthy competition and the growth of the digital economy in Nigeria.

Interconnect debt pertains to the cost that telecommunications operators owe each other for calls terminating their networks. It has posed a challenge to the industry’s ability to expand infrastructure, hindering the pursuit of better service quality.

The Nigerian Communications Commission’s recent action against Globacom is seen as a significant move to enforce accountability in the industry and address a long-standing financial challenge. It highlights the regulator’s commitment to fostering a more robust telecommunications ecosystem in Nigeria.

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