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NCC’s regulatory intervention: Glo-MTN interconnect disconnection suspended for 21 days as resolution efforts intensify”



NCC's regulatory intervention: Glo-MTN interconnect disconnection suspended for 21 days as resolution efforts intensify"

NCC expects swift resolution to interconnect debts, places phased disconnection on hold


In a significant regulatory development, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has announced the suspension of the phased disconnection of Globacom from the MTN network for a period of 21 days. The decision, outlined in a statement by Dr. Reuben Muoka, the Director of Public Affairs at NCC, aims to provide a window for MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues related to their long-standing interconnection debt dispute.


21-day suspension and expectations of resolution


In a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, Dr. Muoka highlighted the NCC’s expectation that both MTN and Glo would collaboratively address and resolve all outstanding issues within the stipulated 21-day period. The regulatory intervention comes as part of the NCC’s commitment to ensuring compliance with regulatory obligations by all licensees in the telecommunications sector.


Muoka emphasized the NCC’s insistence that interconnect debts be settled by all operating companies, underscoring their significance as a necessary component of regulatory compliance. The commission holds Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees accountable for adhering to the terms and conditions outlined in their licenses, particularly those pertaining to interconnection agreements.


“The commission is pleased to announce that the parties have now reached an agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them. For this reason, and in exercise of its regulatory powers in that regard, the Commission has put the phased disconnection on hold for a period of 21 (twenty-one) days from today,” stated Muoka.


Background to the interconnect dispute: NCC’s pre-disconnection notice


The regulatory intervention follows the issuance of a Pre-disconnection notice by the NCC, notifying subscribers of the approval granted to MTN to disconnect Globacom with effect from January 18. The disconnection was prompted by a longstanding interconnection debt dispute between MTN and Glo.


On January 8, the NCC approved MTN’s request to partially disconnect Glo from its network due to unpaid interconnect charges. The partial disconnection meant that Globacom’s subscribers would be unable to place calls to any MTN number but could still receive calls from MTN users.


Expectations for swift resolution and regulatory compliance


The NCC’s decision to suspend the phased disconnection aligns with the regulatory body’s expectation that the telecommunications giants will swiftly resolve their disputes within the specified timeframe. The commission’s emphasis on the settlement of interconnect debts as a crucial aspect of regulatory compliance underscores the importance of financial integrity within the telecommunications sector.


As the 21-day period unfolds, industry stakeholders will closely watch the progress of negotiations between MTN and Glo, anticipating a resolution that preserves the interests of both companies and ensures uninterrupted services for subscribers. The NCC’s regulatory powers are being wielded to foster collaboration and adherence to established agreements, setting the stage for a comprehensive and amicable resolution to the interconnect debt dispute.

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