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MTN, Airtel, Glo Bars From Selling SIM Cards

The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has imposed fines in the total sum of N647,500,000 Million on three service providers, Airtel, Globacom and MTN Nigeria Ltd for failing to meet the Key Performance Indicators, KPIs, for quality of service in the month of January 2014.

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Consequently, the three companies have been barred from selling SIM Cards with effect from 1st till 31st of March 2014, and are also barred from all promotions in their networks until they improve on the failed KPIs for which they are sanctioned.

The details of the sanction showed that Airtel Network Ltd, and MTN Nigeria Communications Ltd, are to pay a fine of N185 Million each while Globacom Ltd is liable to the tune of N277,500. In addition, each of the operators must pay the sanction amount on or before March 7, 2014, failure upon which each will be liable to pay N2,500,000 per day as long as the contravention persists.

The sanctions, which were communicated to the three operators in a letter signed by the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said the Commission will carry out an audit of the three companies on March 1, 2014 and also on March 31st, 2014, to ensure that no sale of new SIM Cards takes place in any of the three networks within the period.

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The letter made reference to an earlier directive of December 10, 2014, which warned the operators that “if the Quality of Service does not improve by 31st December, 2013, the Commission will be compelled to direct operators to, among others, suspend the activation of new SIMs and subscribers until such an operator can prove that it has met the Key Performance Indicators specified in the Regulations”.

According to Dr. Juwah, “ the Commission after careful collation of statistics from the Network Operating Centres, NOC, of all major networks operators for the month of January 2014, has concluded that the service provided by some of the operators during the period fell below the Key Performance Indicators published by the Commission in the Quality of Service Regulations, as amended”.

Details of the sanction also indicated that Airtel failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR, and SDCONG, while MTN failed on Call Setup Success Rate , CSSR and Drop Call Rate, DCR. On its part, Globacom failed on Call Setup Success Rate, CSSR, Drop Call Rate, DCR, and SDCONG.

The Key highlights of the sanction are that the concerned operators must adhere to the following conditions:

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1. Payment of the fines shall be on or before March 7, 2014.

2. Failure to settle the said amount within the stipulated period, the operators shall continue to be liable to pay the sum of N2,500,000 ( Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira Only) per day for as long as the contravention persist.

3. To stop the sale of new SIM Cards throughout the month of March 2014, with effect from March 1 to 31, 2014.

4. The Service Providers shall not churn or delete inactive or ( None revenue generating SIMs) from their networks during the period of March 1 to 31, 2014.

5. The Service Providers shall not supply new SIM Cards from their warehouses or other sources to its Dealers or third parties throughout the period from March 1-31, 2014.

6. The Service Providers shall stop all promotions until the KPIs which have been identified in their respective networks are positively addressed.

The directive further warned that “any deviation or alteration of provisioning pattern ( in terms of average daily number of provisioning) in the remaining days of February 2014 compared to the regular provisioning rates by the concerned service providers shall be construed as a breach to the Direction.

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