NCC declares “state of emergency” on Quality of Service

… Pleads with CBN to make forex available to operators

by the degenerating Quality of Service (QoS) provided by Mobile Network
Operators (MNOs) and other service providers, the Nigerian
Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday declared a state of emergency
on the Quality of Service.

As part of measures to cushion the
situation and ameliorate the recurrent inaccessibility to foreign
exchange (forex) by operators, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC,
Prof. Umar Danbatta yesterday told the operators that the Commission
had written to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr. Godwin
Emefiele and he was favourably disposed to addressing the forex needs of
the operators.

Specifically, as a follow up to the letter, the
Executive Commissioner (Stakeholders Management), NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare
had a meeting with Mr. Emefiele and extracted a commitment from him on
how he hoped to address the forex needs of the operators.

spoke yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session on Quality of
Service delivery which NCC management had with operators.

said, since the NCC had declared 2017 as the year of the consumer, all
hands should be on deck for telecom consumers to have a fresh lease to
high Quality of Service. “The consumer has to be treated with dignity”
Danbatta added, saying the “8-point agenda drives this point home”.

NCC, he explained, has put measures in place to check and monitor
Quality of Service (QoS) on various networks “and we have sent this
report to our task force on QoS and have been interacting with
governments at different levels as part of the measures to deal with the
poor QoS”.

Danbatta admonished the operators and co-location service operators to provide suggestions on how to address the situation.

NCC’s Executive Commissioner (Technical Services), Mr. Ubale Maska
said, QoS has been a great concern as consumers inundate the Commission
with complaints.

“It requires everybody’s input if the situation has to be redressed, hence 2017 has been declared the year of the Consumer”.

Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity (DTSNI), Dr.
Fidelis Ona, explained that the Commission is aware of some of the
challenges which include 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 Quality of Service,
special committee on Counter Harmonization to address this”.

Head, Quality of Service Unit, Engr. Edoyemi Ogoh in his presentation
traced poor quality of service to fibre cuts, community issues, among

He said in October 2016, operators experienced 175 cuts
across the nation while they recorded 180 cuts in November and 103 in
December, 2016.

There were 113 community issues in October 2016,
74 in November and 133 in December, adding that fibre cuts and community
issues remain major drawbacks for QoS.

In their various
presentations, some of the operators painted a grim picture of their
encounters especially in an economy that is going broke.

Technical Officer (CTO) at MTN Nigeria, Mr. Hassan Jamil expressed
happiness with the interactive session, so that the regulator can know
our situation one on one basis…”
He said demand for both voice and
data services are on the rise but we are unable to catch up on
investment because of scarce forex availability”.

The catalogue of woes he listed included inability to import equipment to boost expansion:
• We can’t transmit forex to vendors
• Incessant fibre cuts
• Community related challenges
• Scarcity of diesel to power base stations
• Right of Way issues with different layers of government in the regions
• Sabotage at different  levels

We planned 100 sites for Abuja but after a very longtime 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”

situations were painted by representatives of Globacom Limited, Airtel
Nigeria, Etisalat, American Towers Company (ATC), IHS Limited, among

The EVC encouraged the operators to be more creative by adopting alternative source of energy like solar power as a stop gap.



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