Globacom subscribers won’t be disconnected from calling MTN lines, the Nigerian Communications Commission has confirmed.
This is as the commission announced, on Thursday night, that MTN Nigeria Communications Plc., and Globacom Limited have amicably resolved their dispute. It stated that due to this development, the disconnection approval granted to MTN for the disconnection of Globacom has now been withdrawn.
Before now, 61.54 million mobile subscriptions (as of November 2023) on Glo’s network were at risk of getting disconnected from making calls to MTN. This was because, in January, the NCC notified the public that Glo subscribers would get barred from making calls to MTN lines if Glo did not settle its interconnect charges.
This announcement, by the NCC, is coming two days after the expiration of a 21-day grace period granted to Glo (on January 17, 2024) to resolve its debt issue with MTN. This resolution has brought an end to a drawn-out disagreement that had dragged on for years.
In a statement signed by Reuben Muoka, Director, Public Affairs, NCC, the commission reiterated that strict adherence to the terms and conditions of licenses, particularly those spelled out in interconnection agreements, are imperative for all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees within the telecommunications industry.
To avoid a repeat of the Glo, MTN saga, the telecoms regulator has asked MNOs to begin to submit relevant records and regular updates as it seeks to adopt a transparent approach towards industry indebtedness.
“This statement serves as a reminder of the Commission’s commitment to fostering a stable and compliant telecommunications ecosystem in Nigeria,” it added.
On Wednesday, BusinessDay reported that the two telcos had resolved their outstanding debt issues. One source close to the matter said, “Yes, an agreement has been reached. They have paid how much they owe. But interests had accrued over time, but we have agreed to collect N2bn as interests.”
Muoka, on Wednesday, hinted to BusinessDay that the commission would release a statement to confirm the development soon.
Interconnect charge is the price that a telecom operator will pay other operators for calls made to it from the other’s network. This had caused a disagreement between MTN and Glo for a while and in 2019, Glo subscribers briefly got disconnected from MTN over a N4bn debt.