The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted disconnection approval to mobile network operators (MNOs) to disconnect owing colleagues over rise in interconnect debt and failure of the affected operators to pay.
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. The Guardian checks showed that over 35 million subscribers might be affected if the disconnection move is implemented.
While 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.
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.
The ATCON boss, who urged affected subscribers to use the Mobile Number Portability scheme and port to available network, urged NCC to introduce an automated clearing interconnect scheme as suggested by the association this year, saying the current and future debts may have to be written off, if those companies disconnected eventually go into forced bankruptcy.”