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22.7m telecoms subscribers now on DND – Danbatta



22.7m telecoms subscribers now on DND - Danbatta

An excess of 22.7 million telephone users, based on subscriptions, have activated Do-Not-Disturb (DND) code on their respective telephone lines to prevent being bombarded with unsolicited services from telecoms service providers.

This was disclosed recently by the Professor Umar Danbatta, the executive vice chairman if the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), while addressing industry stakeholders at a virtual forum.

According to the EVC, when the commission introduced the DND code in 2015, less than 500,000 people activated the code, adding however that now, there are exactly 22,722,366 lines on the DND service.

Danbatta further stated that 98 per cent of the total service-related complaints received from telecoms consumers within a 15-month period, spanning January 2019 to April 2020, have been successfully resolved by the Commission.

On quality of service, he said “the commission has monthly engagements with operators as well as quarterly industry working group on Quality of Service and Short Codes, and is currently monitoring 2G Key Performance Indicators, while the KPIs for 4G are being prepared.”

Meanwhile, he also disclosed that commercial banks in the country owe telecommunications companies over N17 billion following the regulator’s suspension of its Determination on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) Pricing last year.

“The NCC, in furtherance of its mandate to protect the interests of consumers and support a robust telecommunications sector, recently announced that it had revised the Determination on the USSD,” he said.

He said Isa Pantami, the communications and digital economy minister had already been briefed on the development with a view to ensuring a quick settlement of the debt.

It should be recalled that the NCC, in a statement released to the media recently, observed that the amendment to its USSD Determination was necessitated by a protracted dispute between mobile network operators (MNOs) and Financial Institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.

As a responsive and effective regulatory authority, the commission recognises that its policies are not static and may be modified from time to time as circumstances demand, the commission stated.

According to Danbatta, in the interest of the consumers and other stakeholders, the commission revised the Determination previously issued by removing the Price Floor and the Cap to allow MNOs and the banks negotiate rates that will be mutually beneficial to all parties concerned.

“The NCC also determined that Mobile Network Operators must not charge the consumers directly for the use of USSD channels for financial services in the form of end-user-billing, but revert to corporate billing.

“The transaction should be between the MNOs and the entity to which the service is provided such as banks and financial institutions,” the commission said.

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