The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued Airtel Nigeria a fine of N127 million for violating established laws in its operational practices. The regulatory body also sanctioned 9mobile for a similar offense.
Airtel is said to have acted outside of provisions of Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations 2013 and Enforcement Processes Regulations 2005 guaranteed by the NCC. This law states that telecommunications companies do not have the liberty to remove any operator from their network without the approval of the regulating body.
Notwithstanding the terms and conditions of any interconnection, a party thereto shall not at any time and in any circumstance disconnect or discontinue interconnection to any interconnecting party without the prior written approval of the Commission.Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003
The telco company was also sanctioned for imposing its Value-Added-Services on subscribers who had activated the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) mode. By activating DND, subscribers communicate that they do not want to any part of the VAS and as such should not be charged for it.
According to the report by the NCC, some users on the Airtel network were charged for Value-Added-Services.
9mobile was also reported to have subscribed users on DND to VAS. According to the report, it subscribed 13 lines on DND to VAS.
The Do-Not-Disturb code – 2442 – was an initiative of the Nigerian Communications Commission following incessant complaints by subscribers that they kept getting charged for services they did not subscribe to.
Following this discovery and subsequent correspondence with the licensees in which both claimed to have had technical/software challenges and to have disconnected the affected numbers, the Commission rejected their responses and consequently sanctioned both EMTS and Airtel N5,000,000 each for breach of the Direction.NCC
The commission further said it would keep working towards making more Nigerians become aware that they can stop receiving unsolicited messages by sending “STOP” or “HELP” as a text message to 2442.
We expect that the number of subscribers opting for DND will continue to grow as more consumers become aware of the Short Code through continuous awareness campaigns activities at our outreach events.Mr Ismail Adedigba, Head of Information and References at the Consumer Affairs Bureau of NCC.
It does not end there. Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, also said that provided the action can be established by the subscriber, (s)he will be refunded for the unsolicited message received.
That’s some good news. Start calculating how much you are owed by these defaulting telcos.
Get the best of Africa’s daily tech to your inbox – first thing every morning.
Join the community now!