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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Airtel, MTN and Globacom Could Face Sanctions For Data Billings.

A report from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) stated that it would sanction Airtel, MTN and Globacom for defying its directive on automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.

The Commission made this known in its '2015 third quarter Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report' obtained pasted on its website.

NCC said it had continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go Billing on depletion of their data bundle.

'Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCC Act, 2003. The commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directions.

According to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), NCC directions on migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go billing on depletion of data bundle are listed below.

1. Where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/billing rate for automatic migration.

2. That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorisation of the subscriber via SMS.

NCC said that a follow-up compliance check was carried out which revealed that Etisalat was in compliance with the directives, adding that Etisalat through SMS, notified its subscribers of depletion of their data bundle accounts, before due dates.

The telecoms regulator also said that Etisalat sought the consent of subscribers before automatically migrating them to the Pay-As-You-Go data service.

It pointed out that ‘’Globacom is in compliance with the first direction, as subscribers receive SMS detailing tariff rate for auto-migration on depletion of their data bundle, stating however, that Globacom failed to obtain express consent from subscribers before migration to Pay-As-You-Go and therefore in violation of the second direction.

NCC explained that ‘’MTN is in compliance with the first direction but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended on depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber.

According to NCC "Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions".

NCC has been insistent on the directions, stating that consequent upon the above, the Commission has issued a notice of intention to sanction the concerned service providers.

Recently, the Commission has fined MTN Nigeria Communications Limited the sum of Eighty Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N80,400,000) for failing to deactivate Four Hundred and Two (402) incomplete and improperly registered sims.

Joseph Etim

Joseph Etim (B. Tech) is a blogger, mobile web developer and a tutor with a zeal for positive effects.

Website: Pepetimsblog

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