Nigerian mobile operators fined for bad service

Nigerian Communcations Commission fines operators for poor service

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By  Derek Francis Published  March 5, 2008

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has ordered MTN Nigeria and Celtel Nigeria to pay N4.7 billion ($40.3 million) in compensation to subscribers by the end of January, after their mobile services fell short of quality standards.

According to the NCC, the level of congestion on the companies' networks was unacceptable in December last year. Subscribers will be awarded N175 ($1.49) each in air-time credit, according to the Daily Trust.

MTN, which boasts 15.78 million subscribers, would have to put up N2.78 billion ($23.73 million) towards the cost, while Celtel - with an 11.1 million-strong user base, will be liable for N1.94 billion ($16.56 million). Globacom was also subject to the NCC's tests, but avoided the fine after performing satisfactorily.

The issue over network congestion has been ongoing since last July, when Celtel and MTN were ordered to suspend promotional activities until it improved the quality of service on its network. The matter has since been taken to the Federal High Court in Lagos, where the court upheld the NCC's directive.

The NCC stated that if the congestion constituted over 10 per cent of the key performance indicators, the operators would be liable to pay compensation to its subscribers.

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