NCC Senate investigates 'unwholesome practices' by telecom operators

The Senate noted that network providers have continued to expand their existing infrastructure without adequate provision made to improve service delivery.

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The Nigerian senate during plenary play

The Nigerian senate during plenary

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The Nigerian Senate has mandated its committee on communication, Trade and Investment to investigate the increasing rate of dropped calls and other unwholesome practices by telecommunication operators in Nigeria.

The Senate's decision was sequel to a motion sponsored by Senator Andy Uba, the lawmaker representing Anambra South.

Speaking on the floor of the Senate on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, Uba said telecom subscribers have continued to encounter incomprehensible speech and voice quality that “sounds like speaking from the bottom of a fish tank”.

“Subscribers have not been able to control bundle usage nor the choice to restrict browsing to the resources which they may have allocated resulting in a sudden and unexplained expiry of data bundle with the network automatically switching to a pricier airtime option when surfing/browsing the internet.

“All SM operators in Nigeria have recently been experiencing terrible congestion on their networks, thus, denying subscribers the benefits of getting value for their resources and hampering the ability to make or receive calls.

“Despite the warning issued to the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) on the activities of telecom operators using the dropped call mechanism to defraud Nigerians by deducting money from phone users illegally, no serious sanction or penalty has been issued against any operator to date

"Network providers have continued to expand their existing infrastructure could carry with no adequate provision made to improve service delivery. A recent investigation shows that MTN, Airtel, Globacom and Etisalat could not provide the rate of drop calls on their network and they appear to see the reason to compensate their customers for disconnected calls or address their frustrations,” the lawmaker said.

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The Senate further directed the NCC and other relevant agencies to carry out a thorough investigation of the cause of dropped calls by GSM network providers and come up with innovations that would improve customer experiences.

The upper legislative chamber urged the NCC to invoke appropriate provisions of the law and other extant agreement to protect consumers and refund them where necessary.

In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki condemned the inefficiency of network operators in Nigeria resulting to poor service delivery.

Saraki urged the committee to investigate the matter as means of bringing a lasting solution to the problem.

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