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NCC, MTN, Glo meet over outstanding interconnect debt

The Nigerian Communications Commission organized a meeting on Friday with MTN and Globacom executives over alleged outstanding N1.3bn interconnect debt. It was revealed that the meeting was held to settle the dispute between the top telcos in the country and work out a plan for settling the remaining debt. The interconnect dispute, MTN has lifted the partial ban on calls from Glo subscribers and the industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission intervened to protect telecom subscribers.

Top executives familiar with the dispute said that Globacom had aired their view and argued that its interconnect debt was N3.1bn while MTN claim between  the tele companies had degenerated to partial disconnection of  Glo subscribers from call to  MTN subscribers( Yes that was so obvious, I noticed that). However, that its record showed more than the stated amount. This discrepancy, according to sources who pleaded anonymity, was because call records presented by both telcos did not align but NCC had intervened and asked Globacom to pay N4.4bn. "the records Globacom has at the backend do not corroborate with the N4.4bn that NCC has asked the company to pay,” the source said. It was also gathered that the NCC on Friday summoned the management of both Globacom and MTN to a meeting in an effort to ensure that all parties settled the dispute amicably.

The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, had said the regulatory body was committed to ensuring customers enjoy uninterrupted service while efforts were being made to address the issue of indebtedness in the Telecom industry. The EVC stated that the issue of interconnection was a matter that the commission was handling delicately within the purview of the regulatory provisions to protect consumers by ensuring that their quality of experience was not acutely affected. “It is one-way disconnection because, as a regulator, we prevented total disconnection; not doing that would be frustrating for the consumers. So, we have ensured that subscribers on the affected debtor networks are able to receive calls and text messages from creditor networks. This means they might not be able to make seamless calls or send text messages to the creditor’s network at all times because of restriction of access to debtor networks, pending when satisfactory payment plans are reached with respect to the interconnect indebtedness. This is to prevent further accumulation of interconnect debt by the debtor networks,”

Danbatta was quoted. He  also expressed displeasure at the slow pace of the settlement over undisputed interconnect bills among the affected operators, saying that with over 90 per cent of pre-paid customers on mobile networks, “operators have no reason not to be settling their interconnection bills as and when due.” Meanwhile, the President, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria, Mr Olusola Teniola, had advocated for an automated settlement scheme that would compel operators to set aside a percentage of their daily recharge card sales into a settlement account that would be used every month to handle their interconnect and facility obligations.

According to him, previous attempts to use disconnection of networks as the solution to the problem did not work. So far, Teniola said, only 25 per cent of the debt had been paid since the last time NCC issued a warning concerning the level of interconnect debt. “We again appeal to the government to consider an automatic clearing system so that calls that are made between two different networks are settled automatically via this scheme. We need the right solution,” he said. MTN Group Limited, formerly M-Cell,is a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company, operating in many African, European and Asian countries.

Its head office is in Johannesburg. As of 30 June 2016, MTN recorded 232.6 million subscribers, making it the eighth largest mobile network operator in the world, and the largest in Africa.Active in over 20 countries, one-third of company revenue come from Nigeria, where it holds about 35% market share.It was founded Founded in1994 with it's headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa. Its key founder's arePhuthuma Nhleko (Non-Executive chairman)Rob Shuter (Chief Executive Officer). It's subsidiary is Visafone. Its motto is "Every where you go". MTN Group is the primary sponsor of the South Africa national rugby union team and sponsors English football club Manchester United F.C.In March 2016, the company appointed Rob Shuter as Chief Executive Officer As of Q4 2018, MTN is active in over 21 countries of the world Globacom Limited, commonly known asglo, is a Nigerian multinational telecommunications company founded on 29 August 2003 by Mike Adenuga.As of June 2018, the company has employed more than 3,500 people worldwide.

It is a private organization and a telecommunications industry.It was founded in 2013.Its headquarters is at Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria.Mike Adenuga is the Chairman and Bella Disu is the executive Vice Chairman. (Actually it is owned by Mike Adenuga). GLO has over 45 million subscribers (December 2018), making it the second largest network operator in Nigeria. In 2011, GLO became the first telecommunication company to build an $800 million high-capacity fibre-optic cable known as Glo-1, a submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. It is the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. Globacom has the following strategic business units: Glo mobile, Glo Broad Access, Glo Gateway and Glo-1. MTN and Glo are very widely used networks in Nigeria although some prefer the former over the other and vice versa but the fact remains that we want the two telecommunication companies to remain. So we pray they settle their differences and get back on their feet.

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