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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

M-Tel, MTN must talk to each other – NCC

NIGERIAN Communications Commission (NCC) has directed that two Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators; MTN Nigeria and M-Tel who are currently having interconnection problems must speak to each other before the end of next month, August.

The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, gave this directive at the monthly Telecom Consumer Parliament held at Ogba-Ikeja in Lagos State.

He said that NCC has observed from the avalanche of complaints presented at the 22nd edition of the parliament that the two operators were not making life easy for their subscribers, who ordinarily would like to talk to themselves.

“MTel must talk to MTN, and MTN must talk to MTel,” he declared, stressing that failure for them to resolve their differences, if any, before the next edition of the parliament, the regulator may be forced to wield the big stick.

“Otherwise, NCC would intervene,” he asserted.

Dr. Ndukwe was not also comfortable with complaints of credit disappearances, saying that NCC would, along with the operators in the country, look into the cause and how to stop it forthwith.

He further cleared the air on the concept of Vmobile customers also using the firm’s website to reach the operator, which was endorsed by the parliament previously, even as he made it clear that it does not take the place of customer service lines.

Emphasising that it is not every subscriber that has access to the Internet which would avail them the opportunity to make contacts via the internet.

Cautioning that free Short Messaging Service (SMS) should be ensured to be free, decrying the lots of complaints generated on that issue and misconception thereof by subscribers on means of managing it.

NCC further lauded MTN for being consistent at the parliament sessions, even as it should look into call drops while the credit warning time should be reduced drastically so as not to interrupt calls for a long time.

Earlier, Dr. Ndukwe has said NCC has embarked on a national survey particularly on GSM networks, which is expected to be published soon.

The June edition of the parliament which held in Onitsha-Anambra State, he reported, was well attended.

This, he said, was part of the resolve by NCC to ensure that the parliament has a national spread, hence, it is rotated.

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