Charges stakeholders on telecom infrastructure protection and warns service providers against unwholesome practices
Major mobile network operators (MNOs) in Nigeria recorded 9,077 cases of service outages on their networks in the second quarter of the year.
This has resulted in an unexpected disruption to quality of service (QoS) of operators’ network and a discontinuous quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers.
Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), NCC mentioned this in a speech delivered at the first Virtual Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) hosted in Abuja recently by NCC.
According to the ECSM, from the 9,077 service outages recorded by the operators, 3,585 were as a result from incidences of access denials to telecoms site for maintenance, 4972 got triggered by incidences of fibre cuts resulting from vandalism and construction activities. 520 cases resulted from battery and generator incidence theft at sites.
He, however, noted that in steps to cushion the effects of the challenges, NCC in quick response took major decisions to mitigate unforeseen challenges that may result in the disruption of service delivery to telecoms consumers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Adewolu said, “the Commission approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic.” These include fibre optic cables and other resources in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments.
“We also ensured that the service providers meet the needs of their teeming consumers by securing Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications officials and staff for easy movement during the lockdown.
This was to ensure ease of movement to service base stations and other telecom facilities and equipment,”
Adewolu implored all stakeholders in the industry to collaborate with NCC in enlightening all Nigerians on the necessity to protect the telecom infrastructure in their domain without which quality of service delivery will be hampered.
The ESCM noted that the many complaints got from consumers by NCC since the pandemic outbreak indicates the broad gap between the consumer QoS and the QoE provided by telecom service providers.
Adewolu urged operators on the necessity to improve and increase their network capacity following the unprecedented increase in consumer demand.
“Also, service providers must embark on pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaign about data usage and billing to ensure their subscribers have all the required information to make informed decisions so as get value for money spent.
Operators also need to train and equip their customer care personnel on consumer complaint management as well as ensuring that consumer complaints are resolved conclusively and in line with the revised Service Level Agreement (SLA),” Adewolu added.
The ESCM warned service providers to ignore detrimental practices including changing the names and nomenclature of promotions from what was approved, putting out promotional advertorials without prior approval by the Commission, modification of data plan without informing the consumers, warning that NCC will take appropriate sanctions on erring operators.
Adewolu noted that the Consumer Code of Practice requires that once a contract agreement is signed, both parties should adhere to the contract terms and conditions and where a change is required, the validity period should end before any modification is effected.
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