VENTURES AFRICA – After weeks of declining the Nigerian Communication Commission’s (NCC) penalty for poor quality service, telecommunication operators in Africa’s second largest economy – MTN, Globacom, Airtel and Etisalat – have finally paid the $7.3 million fine imposed by the regulatory commission.
The telecom companies, at a meeting with the commission last week, had agreed to pay their fines after an agreement was reached with the commission to review the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
“MTN, Globacom and Airtel paid at the close of work on Monday this week, while Etisalat paid at the close of work on Tuesday,” NCC sources who opted to remain anonymous told the PTI on the phone.
MTN’s Corporate Services Executive, Mr Wale Goodluck, also confirmed to The Nation that his company had paid the fine, at the Sixth Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos. A source at the commission confirming the payment of the fine to the medium, said, “It was a win-win situation.”
Nigeria’s telecom regulatory authority, NCC, had on May 10 imposed a fine of N1.17 billion ($7.3 million) on the four operators in the country for poor quality of services after an analysis of the KPIs on their networks for the months of March and April. The regulatory body sanctioned the operators for failing to satisfy the Nigerian mobile user population, who, mostly, use two lines as an alternative to network failure from any provider.
The NCC had arrived at the decision on testing the operators on four parameters – Call Set-up Success Rate, Call Completion Rate, Drop Call Rate and Traffic Channel Congestion. The commission said the telecoms companies have failed to meet with the minimum standard of quality of service, but the telecoms company declined arguing that poor service quality was due to poorly developed infrastructure, like electricity, in the country.
According to a Lagos-based newspaper, ThisDay, MTN and Etisalat were fined N360 million ($2.2 million) each, while Airtel and Globacom were fined N270 million ($1.7 million) and N180 million ($1.1 million) respectively. They were given up till May 25 to pay the fine or get additional N2.5 million ($15, 520) daily as contravention charges.
It was however not confirmed if the extra surcharges were also paid by the operators.
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