NCC imposes heavy fines on telcos

TELECOMS

|
Image: By BiztechAfrica
NCC imposes heavy fines on telcos

By Komumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The regulator of Nigeria’s telecom sector, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has slammed a total fine of N1.17 billion on GSM communications operators in the country for failing to comply with the minimum standard of quality of service.

According to the NCC, while MTN and Etisalat will cough up N360 million each, Airtel and Glo will pay N270 million and N180 million respectively to the coffers of the federal government as fine.

Copies of the sanction letters addressed to the CEO of the telcos and endorsed by U A S Maska, head, Compliance Monitoring & Enforcement and Josephine Amuwa, director, Legal Services, made available to Biztechafrica.com, disclosed that the sanction period covers only the months of March and April 2012.

Titled “Non-compliance with Minimum Standard of Quality of Service in the Month of March & April 2012-Notice of Sanction’ the letter addressed to the CEOs of MTN Communications Nigeria Limited, Emerging Market Telecoms Services Limited, Airtel Networks Limited and Globacoms Limited read, “The Nigerian Communications Commission had in the months of March and April 2012 monitored the standard of quality of service of…networks. The monitoring report indicated that your company had failed to meet the minimum standard of quality of service including the key performance indicators as specified in Schedule 1 Table 2 of the Quality of Service Regulation 2012.”

The letter added that whereas the NCC had noted the performance in the months of January and February 2012 as being below the specified thresholds however, for the purpose of enforcement of the new Quality of Service Regulations, the NCC had taken these periods as grace periods.

The regulator said the telco had in the two months failed to meet the minimum standard of quality of service including the KPIs as specified in Schedule 1 Table 2, arguing that the telco is in contravention of the provision Section 104 (a) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.

NCC said “in accordance with Paragraph 13 and Schedule 3, Paragraph 2 of the Quality of Service Regulation 2012, MTN Communications Nigeria Limited is therefore liable to pay fine to the Commission” as follows: N15 million for each parameter for a service contravened in the month of March 2012; a further sum of N2.5 million for each parameter for a service each day the contravention continued throughout the month of April 2012.

The NCC thereby directed MTN Nigeria to pay on before May 21, 2012, the total sum of N360 million being sanction for failure to meet the KPIs t for the said months. The same weight of sanction was imposed on Etisalat because the two firms committed similar misdemeanor.

For Gobacomms Limited, the telco which recently launched operations in Ghana, it will pay the total sum of N12 million for each parameter for a service contravened in the month of March and a further sum of N2.5 million for each parameter for a service for each day the contravention continued through out the month of April. The NCC therefore expects Globacomms Limited to pay the total of N180 million “being sanction for failure to meet the KPIs for the said months of March & April 2012.”

Airtel Networks Limited will pay the sum of N15 million for each parameter for a service contravened in the month of March and a further N2.5 million for each parameter for a service for each day the contravention continued throughout the month of April. Cumulatively, the “total sum of N270 million being sanction for failure to meet the KPIs for the said months of March & April.”

The commission warns all the affected operators that, “Upon failure to settle the said penalty within the stipulated period, such penalty shall attract a further sum of N2,500,000 (two million, five hundred thousand naira only) per day for as long as the contravention persists.”

In a swift reaction by MTN, Akinwale Goodluck, Corporate Services Executive at the telco stated that the company remained committed to ensuring the best quality of service for its teeming customers.

Said he: “MTN continues to employ the greatest effort to overcome the infrastructural and environmental challenges that impede the delivery of consistently good quality of service.”

He reiterated the challenges that exist in Nigeria including those related to unavailability of regular power supply, the insecurity of property, vandalization, and the menace of multiple taxation and over-regulation.

Speaking of power, he revealed that the company generates up to 80% of its power requirements, stating that MTN’s network is one of the largest in the world running almost entirely on self generated power. He further revealed that the company expends billions of Naira annually on diesel alone.

Goodluck also lamented the indiscriminate vandalisation of telecommunication infrastructure around the country. He estimated that MTN suffers more than seventy cuts to its fibre on a monthly basis. Indeed, in April this year, MTN had cause to publish full page announcements in the newspapers, alerting the public to the growing incidence of criminal damage to MTN’s infrastructure in various parts of the country and the impact on quality of service in the country, particularly the South East, as well as Port Harcourt, and Onitsha, Lagos, Kano and Abuja.

He lamented that the heightened insecurity in several parts of the country has limited MTN’s ability to carry out routine maintenance and emergency repairs.

Goodluck also recalled several incidents of multiple taxation and over regulation, citing as examples the difficulties encountered by MTN in Abia State last year and last week’s face off between NESREA and NCC over jurisdiction to intervene in specific regulatory issues, leading to the closure of a number of MTN sites in Abuja. In each case, as with numerous such incidents all over the country, MTN’s ability to service its customers has been severely impaired.

In a passionate appeal for understanding, Goodluck solicited the co-operation and support of the NCC to assist the industry to overcome the various challenges that he listed. Goodluck added that” no business thrives when its customers complain. It is not in our interest for them to do so. It is our desire that our customers are happy with us or else we do not have a business”.

Whilst restating MTN’s commitment to improve its services and apologizing to its customers, he noted that the company would invest   more than N158 Billion in 2012 alone in its network infrastructure. “No company has invested more than MTN in network infrastructure since 2001. We have not been shy to invest heavily in our business and we will continue to do so.”



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

Mali’s 3rd mobile operator to start operations soon

Alpha Telecom, the third mobile operator of Mali, is set to start operating in the near future to challenge leader Orange and SOTELMA in this West African nation. Read More

Phase3 Telecoms extends aerial cable to Republic of Niger

Sub-regional telecoms infrastructure company, Phase3 Telecoms said it has started the deployment of aerial fiber optic infrastructure from Kano in Nigeria to Gazaoua in Niger Republic.  Read More

Predatory pricing in transmission cable market, others worry NCC

Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that in the transmission cable market, predatory pricing, denial of access to viable routes and discriminatory and arbitrary pricing is the order of the day. Read More

USF contributions surpass sh2.5bn target

Contributions to the Universal Service Fund by Kenyan Operators have surpassed the targetted sh2.5 billion. Read More

MTN Ghana invests 460 Million Ghana Cedi into operations

MTN has told editors at an annual meeting in Accra that it is committing a total of GH.C 46O Million to improving its network this year. Read More

Airtel deepens competition with SmartConnect

The scramble for subscriber acquisition in the telecoms industry has taken a new turn as Airtel has unveiled a new marketing strategy to grow its subscriber numbers in a bid to unseat Globacom as second largest operator in the country. Read More

Togo government to regenerate Togo Telecom

Togo's government has vowed to rebuild Togo Telecom with a regeneration package that includes a network upgrade, better customer service and high speed internet at affordable rates. Read More

Ghana ICH poses ‘telecoms monopoly risk’

The Head of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology team at a private law firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah has questioned the National Communication Authority's decision to appoint a Ghanaian company to operate the national interconnect exchange and financial clearing house. Read More

NAPAfrica: peering boosts cross border business

NAPAfrica says that the African continent has yet to fully realise the benefits of peering.   Read More

PwC launches ‘Into Africa – the continent’s cities of opportunity’ report

The African continent is crossed by five trends: demographic change, urbanisation, technological changes, the transfer of economic power and climate change, says a new PwC report. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

2bn priced out of internet access2bn priced out of internet access

A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India. 

COMPANY NEWS

MTN Group Sustainability Report released

MTN Group’s efforts to advance social development in its markets through the integration of sustainable business practices into day-to-day activities, is yielding positive outcomes, the company’s Sustainability ...