By Technology Times Reporter
Lagos. November 12, 2012: The Nigerian Communications Commission has banned MTN Nigeria and six other telecoms companies from engaging in promotions and other lotteries citing prevailing difficulties faced by phone subscribers across the country.
Tony Ojobo, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, who announced the ban today, says it takes immediate effect and cuts across all proposed and approved promotions including those already approved by the telecoms regulator, “further to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered into with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).”
According to NCC, “this ban is with immediate effect and shall continue to remain in force until such a time as may be determined by the Commission.”
The ban will also affect Globacom Limited, Intercellular Nigeria Plc, Visafone Communications Limited, Etisalat, Airtel Networks Limited and MultiLinks Telecoms Limited, the regulator says.
According to telecoms regulator, it has banned “with immediate effect”, until further notice, seven telephone operators from organising any promotions or lotteries for their current and potential subscribers.
NCC assures all telecoms service subscribers that it will ensure that the Quality of Service offered by the operators across all networks will continue to deliver value to their customers.
Above all, not only is it ever ready to protect and promote the interest of consumers against unfair practices, but it will promote fair competition in the industry by preventing all errant operators from misuse of market power and anti-competitive practices by any other operator, Ojobo adds.
In a statement announcing the ban this afternoon, NCC said it has been inundated with several complaints from consumers and other industry stakeholders against the various promotions and lotteries organised on their networks by telecoms operators.
He says that after a careful evaluation, NCC found that the promos have increased the number of minutes available to subscribers for use within a limited period, thereby creating congestion in the networks as subscribers try to use up the available minutes within the stipulated time.
Moreover, on-net calls were being offered by operators at tariffs well below the prevailing inter-connect rates, thereby introducing anti-competitive practices, the regulator adds.
Ojobo adds that, above all, the termination of calls were becoming increasingly difficult from one network to another and overall consumer experience on the networks has become very poor, thereby making it extremely difficult for subscribers to make calls successfully.
He says that in order to sustain the integrity of the networks, protect the general interest of consumers and uphold the socio-economic impact of these promos on the network operators and other relevant stakeholders, NCC therefore banned all promos and lotteries by the operators being carried out on their networks.