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Telecoms: New MNOs’ Common Codes to make life much easier, improve QoE for consumers –NCC

*The Nigerian Communications Commission restates the importance of the Mobile Network Operators’ new Common Short Codes are part of its regulatory modernisation programme to ‘make life much easier for telecoms consumers’ and improve their Quality of Experience’

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of the Commission’s regulatory modernisation programme to ‘make life much easier for telecoms consumers’ and improve their Quality of Experience (QoE), the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has reminded telecoms consumers of the need to memorise and adopt the Mobile Network Operators’ (MNOs) new Common Short Codes in country’s the ecosystem.

The NCC, in a fresh public notice published on its corporate Web site, also provided answers to some of the telecoms consumers’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the harmonised newly-approved Common Short Codes.

ConsumerConnect reports the telecoms sector regulatory Commission has continued to sensitise consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services offered by the mobile network operators.

It is recalled the NCC, early March 2023, had stated under the new harmonised short codes regime, the telecoms sector regulator approved 13 Common Short Codes.

According to the Commission, these include the following codes: 300 to be used as the harmonised code for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks; 301 for voice Mail Deposit; and 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval.

Others are 303 for Borrow Services; 305 for STOP Service; 310 for Check Balance, and 311 for Credit Recharge.

The Commission also stated that the common code for Data Plan across networks is now 312.

In consonance with the new direction, the regulator said 321 is for Share Services, while 323 is for Data Plan Balance.

It further noted: “The code, 996, is now for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage.

“The code, 2442, is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management, while the common code, 3232, is also retained for Porting Services, otherwise called Mobile Number Portability.”

The MNOs activated the new harmonised short codes May 2023, when all networks fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes in Nigeria.

Core objectives of NCC regulatory modernisation programme

The Commission stated: that the initiative, which is in tune with its regulatory modernisation programme, is essentially to make life much easier for telecoms consumers, noting “it is now easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for various services across all mobile networks they may be using, thereby improving consumer quality of experience (QoE).”

The new policy, the Commission said, would provide an opportunity for licensees in the Value-Added Services (VAS) segment of the telecoms sector to use freed-up/old codes for other services, besides enhancing cohesive regulatory framework in keeping with world-class practices in the West African country.

Answers to consumers’ FAQs on Common Short Codes:

What are Common short codes?

Common Short Codes have unified Short Codes used across all the Mobile Networks, to check or access Network Services, such as customer care, recharge, check balance, buy data, etc.

These Short Codes are the same across all networks.

How do I remember the Common Short Codes?

You can simply dial *301# from your mobile phone to view the list of all the Operator Common Codes on your Network.

What are the benefits of Common Short Codes to subscribers?

The Common Short Codes provide clear and easy-to-remember Short Codes for the subscribers to access services across all networks.

There is no need to memorise different Short Codes for the individual operators.

Will I be charged for using the Common Codes?

No, the Common Codes are FREE, and attract no charge for using them. However, voicemail service might attract a fee to enable the feature.

Will the same Codes work if I port my number?

Yes, the Common Codes are the same across ALL the networks.

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