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NCC wades into MTN-Glo Interconnectivity Debt saga, extends disconnection deadline to February 8

By Stanley Iwuoha

 

Expectedly, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC has directed MTN to halt the planned disconnection of Globacom over accrued interconnection debt and finds a common ground to resolve the lingering dispute.

In a statement signed by the Director of Public Affairs in the Commission, Dr. Reuben Muoka, the Commission announced that the parties have now reached agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them.

 

And for this reason, and in exercise of its regulatory powers in that regard, the Commission said it has put the phased disconnection on hold for a period of 21 (twenty-one) days from today, 17 January, 2024.

 

Whilst the Commission expects MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues within the 21-day period, it insists that interconnect debts must be settled by all operating companies as a necessary component towards compliance with regulatory obligations of all licensees.

 

It cautioned that keeping the terms and conditions of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees licences in the telecom industry, is mandatory, especially as contained in their interconnection agreements.

 

Recall that the the Nigerian Communications Commission had on January 8, 2024 published a Pre-Disconnection Notice informing subscribers of the approval granted to MTN Nigerian Communications Plc. (MTN) to commence the phased disconnection of Globacom Limited (Glo) with effect from January 18, 2024 due to long-standing interconnection debt dispute between the parties.

 

In granting the approval, the Commission was deeply conscious of the potential impacts of the decision on consumers and therefore continued to engage both parties to facilitate a resolution which prioritizes and protects consumer interest and the seamless operation of the national telecoms network.

 

The statement reads in part: “The Commission is pleased to announce that the parties have now reached 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, 17 January, 2024.

 

“Whilst the Commission expects MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues within the 21-day period, the Commission insists that interconnect debts must be settled by all operating companies as a necessary component towards compliance with regulatory obligations of all licensees. It is OBLIGATORY that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees in the telecom industry keep to the terms and conditions of their licenses, especially as contained in their interconnection agreements”.

 

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