• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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NCC blocks MTN from disconnecting Glo subscribers

MTN, Glo settle interconnect debt saga

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has halted the planned disconnection of Globacom (Glo) Limited subscribers from calling or receiving calls from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.

The disconnection plan was hinged on talks about Glo’s indebtedness to MTN for over 15 years.

Wading in as a regulator, the NCC on January 8, 2024 published a Pre-Disconnection Notice informing subscribers of the approval granted to MTN Nigerian Communications Plc. (MTN) to commence the phased disconnection of Globacom Limited (Glo) with effect from January 18, 2024 due to long-standing interconnection dispute between the parties.

However, the telecoms regulator has made a reversal on its earlier notice noting that the parties have now reached agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them.

Issues Glo 21 days extension to resolve interconnect debt

“The Commission is pleased to announce that the parties have now reached agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them. For this reason, and in exercise of its regulatory powers in that regard, the Commission has put the phased disconnection on hold for a period of 21 (twenty-one) days from today, 17 January, 2024,” NCC said in a statement.

“The Commission acknowledges both parties’ customer-centric approach to the resolution of the dispute, as this will enable MTN and Glo’s customers to continue to enjoy seamless connectivity between the two networks.”

The regulator also directed MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues within 21 days while insisting that interconnect debts must be settled by all operating companies as a necessary component towards compliance to regulatory obligations of all licensees.

“It is obligatory that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees in the telecom industry must keep to the terms and conditions of their licenses, especially as contained in their interconnection agreements,” the regulator added.

NCC, in a document titled: ‘Pre-Disconnection Notice,’ notified the public and subscribers of Globacom that approval has been granted for the partial disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria due to non-settlement of interconnect charges.

The Commission said, having examined the application and circumstances surrounding the indebtedness, determined that Globacom does not have significant or justifiable reasons for non-payment of the interconnect charges.

“All subscribers are, therefore requested to take notice that the Commission has approved the Partial Disconnection of Globacom to MTN in accordance with Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 and Paragraph 9 of the Guidelines on Procedure for Granting Approval to Disconnect Telecommunications Operators, 2012.

“At the expiration of 10 days from January 8, 2024, subscribers of Globacom will no longer be able to make calls to MTN, but will be able to receive calls.

“The Partial Disconnection, however, will allow in-bound calls to Globacom network,” it stated.

NCC said this disconnection will subsist until otherwise determined by it.

Checks showed that Globacom has 61 million subscribers and 27.8 per cent penetration.