Nigeria Communication commission, NCC has given MTN and Airtel approval to bar Glo and 9mobile customers from calling their network over failure to pay Interconnect Debt.
A document sighted by The Guardian yesterday, confirmed that the NCC has sent notification letters to the affected operators.
NCC has asked MTN, Airtel and IHS to disconnect, on partial basis, services to Globacom, Ntel (MNOs) and interconnect exchange points including Breeze, Exchange, Solid, Medallion and Niconnx.
The implication of this development is that some millions of subscribers would soon start to experience service disruptions. This means that over 35 million subscribers might be affected if the disconnection move is implemented.
The affected operators have between the next 10 and 21 days, starting from yesterday to make amends or risk disconnections.
Globacom currently has 41.5 million subscribers; Ntel as at March had about 150,000 subscribers, while millions of voice and data passes through the affected exchanges on a daily basis..
The document also informed that MTN can also disconnect Smile Communications for non- settlement of interconnect charges.The Commission also said it has approved the Disconnection of Ntel and Globacom from the facilities of IHS in accordance with Section 103 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators.
“Smile, Ntel and Globacom were notified of the applications made by Airtel MTN and IHS and were given opportunity to comment and state their respective cases. The Commission having examined the applications and circumstances surrounding the indebtedness determined that Smile, Ntel and Globacom do not have sufficient reasons for non-payment of Interconnect and facility charges,” NCC stated.
The Commission informed that 9Mobile, Smile and Swift are also to be disconnected from IHS facilities and ATC Wireless Infrastructure Limited. The telecoms regulator informed that at the expiration of 10 days from December18, 2018, subscribers on the network of Smile will no longer be able to make calls to MTN, but will be able to receive calls.
“At the expiration of 10 days from the date of this notice, subscribers on the network of Ntel and Globacom will no longer be able to make calls to Airtel and MTN, but will be able to receive calls. Furthermore, Ntel and Globacom will be disconnected from the facilities of IHS.”
NCC disclosed that at the expiration of 21 days, which started yesterday, Airtel and MTN will cease passing and receiving voice and data traffic through Breeze, Exchange, Solid, Medallion and Niconnx respectively, and will thereafter utilize alternative channels in interconnecting with other network service providers.