Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NCC withholds 440 Glo cars

Cover of the week:

Subsequent upon the last weekend blanket ban on any kind of promo whether existing and upcoming due to declining quality of service by the telecommunications regulatory in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), thereby putting on hold 440 cars remaining in the Globacom’s 500 cars Win and Rule promo, which began last December.

This came as the 60th cars were drawn last Tuesday in Lagos, with 50 emerging new winners while presentation commenced for eight of the 10 winners in the initial draw that took place on Thursday, January 10, at the Mike Adenuga Towers (MAT) Victoria Island, Lagos.

These cars include BMW, Mercedes Benz, Peugeot and Kia.

Announcing the ban, NCC hinged its position on poor Quality of Service (QoS) across the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators.

Reacting to our inquiries on what would become of the remaining 440 cars in the Glo Win and Rule promo, sources close to NCC unequivocal said that it does not matter which of the promos now, but the most important thing is that every promo stand banned until further notice, probably when the quality of service improves considerably to an acceptable level and obviously in line with the Key Performance Indicators (KPI).

Officials of Globacom were mute on the ban and it effects on the Win and Rule promo, as efforts to get responses from them were not successful.

Champion Infotel recalls that for the second time in less than eight months, NCC had banned telecom operators from promos over the failing QoS, even as on July 6, 2007, the commission issued a directive to operators, with this one dated Thursday, February 7, specifically on GSM operators.

Our investigations revealed that out of the three GSM operators, only Glo is the one running a promo otherwise described as ‘grandfather of all promotions’ worth N2 billion.

Industry analysts said that the ban was reclaiming of its position as a transparent regulator by NCC and was not meant to witch-hunt any body or an operator but to salvage the consumers.

They added that its ‘criminal’ to embark on any kind of promo when the quality of service is nothing to write home about by the GSM operators, even as they strongly opined that NCC was not being biased in its judgment especially with the latest QoS equipment on ground to prove the state of KPI.

Industry observers further urged NCC to ensure publication of the result of the QoS to exonerate itself from any form of attack from any quarters.

According to NCC its position was further strengthened by the results generated by the latest tests with the newly acquired GSM QoS testing equipment, the Commission found it very crucial to slam another ban on operators due to ‘unsatisfactory’ results available to the agency, which it described as ‘unacceptable.’

Confirming the most recent ban, Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko said the commission had issued a fresh directive to GSM operators, stopping them from embarking on promotions of any kind and any form until further notice.

“NCC, hereby issues fresh directives stopping the GSM operators from embarking on promotions of any kind,” he declared in a press statement made available to Champion Infotel.

This directive, he said, affected on-going promotions or any new one yet to be embarked upon by any of the operators as the results of the tests carried out in some parts of the country has been very ‘unsatisfactory.’

“The Commission wishes to state that the level of performance of the GSM networks in some parts of the country where tests have been already completed were poor and unacceptable,” he asserted.

With the directive, he said, all the major GSM operators were grossly in default on several key performance indicators (KPI) for ascertaining quality of service.

“The key parameters on which the GSM networks were being tested include traffic channel congestion, call completion rates, call set-up success rates, call drop rates, percentage of failed calls, call set up time, speech quality index, and handover success rates,” he explained.

GSM operators, he said, were expected to attain or exceed threshold performance levels for these key indicators with respect to what NCC had benchmarked for each parameter previously.

Equally he explained that the Commission’s technical team had recently carried out QoS tests in Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna States which result were not upto the minimum standards, adding that in Bauchi State, for instance, some members of the Senate Committee on Communications witnessed the test being carried out by a technical team of the NCC.

And in accordance with NCC 2008 strategy, Mr. Imoko said the newly obtained GSM QoS test equipment has been fully deployed to regularly monitor the performance of operators in all states of the federation.

In a related development, Globacom last Tuesday fulfilled its promise by presenting some of the winners in the first draw with their cars and consequently held another batch of draw which brought the number of winners in the Win and Rule promo to 60.

Globacom maintained that the special promo was put together in the true spirit of empowering Nigerians and in accordance with its tradition of expressing gratitude to esteemed subscribers.

“Its also our unique way of thanking Nigerians for their loyalty and patronage, and for believing in us,” Executive Director, Human Resources at Globacom, Mr. Adewale Sangowawa said at the last draw.

Insisting that for Globacom, the customer is indeed the king and as a truly Nigerian company, is ploughing back its proceeds into building a first class network in the country and investing heavily in valued customers.

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