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NCC declares state of emergency on QoS

NCC declares state of emergency on QoS

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged the telecoms industry to radically improve the quality of service (QoS) offered to consumers, amid ongoing complaints and what the regulator described as "the worrisome degeneration of service quality in the industry."

Speaking in Abuja at an interactive session on QoS delivery, NCC Executive Vice Chairman Prof Umar Danbatta said since 2017 is the year of the consumer, ensuring high quality of service should be the focus of the operators.

"The consumer has to be treated with dignity. NCC has put measures in place to check and monitor the quality of service 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."

The Commission acknowledged the difficulty operators are experiencing in accessing foreign exchange.

Danbatta said the regulator had communicated with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele who has committed to ensuring that the setbacks are speedily addressed.

NCC Executive Commissioner (Technical Services), Ubale Maska, said the organisation is inundated with consumer complaints.

"It requires everybody's input if the situation has to be redressed, hence 2017 has been declared the year of the consumer," he said.

NCC's Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity (DTSNI), Fidelis Ona, revealed that the Commission is aware of the challenges impacting on improved QoS, including Right of Way, difficulty in acquiring new cell sites, multiple taxation and regulation, vandalism and power supply, among others.

"We are engaging stakeholders, including Industry working group on quality of service, and the special committee on counter harmonisation to address these," he said.

Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Hassan Jamil, said there is increased demand for both voice and data services but operators are unable to catch up on investment or import equipment because of the scarcity of forex.

He also mentioned 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 as well as sabotage at different levels.

"We planned one hundred sites for Abuja, but after a very long time 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," he said.

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