NCC Wields The QoS Hammer Over Operators…….…Expresses Dissatisfaction Over Communications Quality

Prof. Umar Danbatta
Prof. Umar Danbatta

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Nigeria are under scrutiny over depreciating quality of service, which the nation’s telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says is not acceptable.

Speaking in Lagos, at a media forum, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta noted that although there has been an improvement in the quality of service (QoS) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2017 over the last quarter (Q4) of 2016, operators are yet to meet the acceptable QoS standard.

He noted that the commission have given the operators an ultimatum, even as the Commission has set its machineries in motion to evaluate the Key Performance Indicators (KPI) gotten from the operators’ Network Operating Centers (NOC).

The KPIs are set standards used to measure the telecommunication quality output of operators. The KPI requires operators to meet the industry standard of call drop rate of below one percent (1%) and call set up rate of 99%.

According to Prof. Danbatta, the Q1 improvement in QoS only takes care of the industry average but still falls short of the NCC-stipulated standard. “There is still a gap between the industry average and what the NCC stipulated standard, especially with regards to the two KPIs – Drop calls and Call Success Rate. I won’t deceive you, we are nowhere near the stipulated standard.” He further noted that the KPI for Q1 is still being processed, after which a consultative meeting will be held with MNOs before sanctions will be imposed.

The EVC explained that although there are no deadlines, there are going to be sanctions on the MNOs that fail to meet set standards.

Assessment for the quality of service KPI is derived from 10 different states.

It will be recalled that in the past, some of the mobile operators have fallen under the hammer of the NCC for failure to meet with the KPIs, and had as punitive measures, paid several millions of naira as fines to the NCC.

However, industry pundits and some of the operators insist that QoS will remain a hard nut to crack with deficiency in infrastructure development caused mostly by challenges ranging from difficulty in accessing FOREX; Right of Way (RoW) challenge; heavy and multiple taxes imposed on telecom companies for setting up infrastructure and vandalisation, among other challenges.

According to Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, these challenges are being addressed by the NCC, in consultation with the relevant stakeholders

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