Mobile network operators (MNOs) have been issued a May 17 deadline to implement approved harmonised short codes (HSC) for select telecoms services across Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says that all MNOs are expected to fully migrate from diverse short codes to the newly-approved harmonised codes by May 17, 2023 to offer service to mobile consumers nationwide.
“With the new codes,” Mr Reuben Muoka, NCC Public Affairs Director says in a statement, “the telecoms consumers using the over 226 million active mobile lines in the country, can now use the same codes to access services across the networks.”
The approved harmonised short codes were introduced as part of regulatory modernisation programme and will make it easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for various services across all mobile networks they may be using, NCC says.
Under the new harmonised short codes regime, 13 common short codes have been approved by NCC, including 300 for Call Centre/Help Desk, 301 for Voice Mail Deposit, 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval, 303 for Borrow Services, 305 for STOP Service, 310 for Check Balance, and 311 for Credit Recharge.
The common code for Data Plan across networks is now 312. In addition, the code 996 is for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage, 2442 is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management, and 3232 is for Porting Services, otherwise called Mobile Number Portability.
The old and new harmonised short codes will run concurrently up until May 17, 2023, to enable telecoms consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services, according to the telecoms regulator.
The harmonised short codes hopes to improve the quality of experience for telecoms consumers and provide opportunity for licensees in the Value-Added Services segment of the telecoms sector to be able to use freed-up/old codes for other services, NCC says.
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