Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Forum tasks operators, Police on facilities

Participants at the second public forum to address Quality of Service (QoS) challenges in the Nigerian telecommunications sector, have tasked operators and the Nigeria Police on the need to collaborate on the security of telecom services.

A communiqué made available to Champion Infotel, participants’ also tasked operators on the essence of educating consumers to enable them make appropriate choice that would be suitable to their pockets.

At the forum, presentations were made by the Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Ibrahim Nakande, representative of the National Assembly, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the Nigerian Police, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), three Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators, consisting MTN, Globacom and Celtel as well as two consumer advocacy groups, the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), and the QoS Working Group.

Some of the challenges identified at the forum include network congestion, limited transmission infrastructure cum capacities, inadequate public power supply, security challenges facing telecom equipment and community relation issues.

Equally, the forum in a communiqué endorsed by the Head, Public Affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko, stated that after due considerations of the different presentations, interventions, questions and answers from the participants and stakeholders it was recommended that operators should fast track their pace of deployment of base stations and transmission capacities because of the urgent need to resolve the QoS challenges within the shortest possible time.

In addition, the forum suggested that all telecom stakeholders should engage relevant public institutions and agencies in the power sector to accelerate ongoing reforms in the sector, so as to improve power supply in the country.

Also, all telecom operators have been mandated to produce and publish their consumer codes of practice and service level agreements to the consumers of telecommunications services as soon as possible.

The government was urged to engage its relevant agencies in provision of incentives to operators who are interested in deploying landline infrastructures to complement the dominant mobile phone services.

NCC, the communiqué stated should collaborate with telecom operators in Nigeria to seek ways to make services more accessible to the physically challenged.

“Telecom operators should increase current resources available for their corporate social responsibility projects and programmes in Nigeria,” part of the stated read, emphasising that the telecoms operators should improve on the management of their customer care centres, including using options like outsourcing of such facilities to make them more widely available and effective.

Just as the form should be held more regularly to assist in ameliorating issues and challenges promptly.

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