Nigerian telcos fined for poor quality service

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined four operators in that country for alleged poor quality of service during the months of March and April 2012.

MTN Nigeria, Etisalat, Airtel and Globacom face fines for poor service, dropped calls and bad line quality, a spokesperson for the commission said.

MTN and Etisalat are to pay a N360 million fine each, while Airtel is to pay N270 million. Meanwhile, Globacom attracted a fine of N180 million.

All the operators have to pay the fines on or before May 21 this year, failing which they could each face an additional fine of N2.5 million per day for as long as the contravention persists.

“The current penalties signal a new regime of quality of service management in the Nigerian telecommunications industry,” the commission said in a statement.

MTN has 41.1 million subscribers in Nigeria, while Abu Dhabi-owned Etisalat has 12 million subscribers in the country.

The chief executive of Etisalat’s Nigeria division, Steven Evans, was quoted in a report as saying that a lack of reliable power, accidental damage to transmission lines and occasional sabotage have made it challenging to meet the NCC’s quality of service standards.

“These factors are unique to the operating environment in Nigeria and pose a tough challenge for operators to deliver quality of service levels equal to that of other countries,” Evans said.

“What we would like to see is the declaration of the telecommunications industry as critical national infrastructure which would afford the industry and its facilities greater protection.”