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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

MTN still dumps calls - Intercellular

By Remmy Nweke

REGARDLESS of the recent ruling of a committee set up by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) Intercellular Nigeria Plc has lamented the continuous dumping of its calls by Global System for Mobile (GSM) operator, MTN Nigeria.

Intercellular Nigeria is a Fixed Wireless Operator using Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology, said it has met the obligation as regards to indebtedness and disconnection.

Making this disclosure in Lagos, President Intercellular Plc, Mallam Basire el-Rufai in an exclusive, said, “As I am taking to you, they (MTN) are still dumping our traffic from the south. You cannot get Intercellular Lagos from MTN Port Harcourt.”

Stressing that Intercellular “bound traffics are being dumped”.

According to him, when subscribers dial Intercellular numbers from Port Harcourt it would tell them that the number is not recognized.

“That’s called call dumping, which is anti-competitive behaviour,” he asserted.

Emphasising that the implication is to make life unbearable on the network capable of inducing hatred of a particular network, saying it is a systematic way of creating bad feelings on a network.

“It is deliberate. This situation has been on for three years,” he decried.

On the way out of he woods, Mallam el-Rufai called on the regulatory authority, NCC to live upto expectations by ensuring that when operators are called to order like in the case of Intercellular and MTN, it would be upheld.

“NCC should not be selective thus allowing some networks to operate as if they are above the law,” he said, even as they could not behave similarly in their country of origin, South Africa.

He further urged for application of common sense, understanding and maturity among telecom operators in the country.

As said by Intercellular boss, his firm even during the trouble became public knowledge has been meeting its obligation but it has been one way.

“You could get on but you could not get them (MTN),” he submitted.

However, efforts to clarify the situation from MTN did not yield fruit as the External Relations Manager, Mr. Andrew Okeleke, confirmed receiving our Short Messaging Service (SMS) in a follow up telephone chat, but promised to get back to correspondent before the day runs off, as at the time of going to the press Monday night.

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