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Globacom vs. MTN: Nigerian telecoms consumers face network disruptions over Telco’s indebtedness

Photo Collage of NCC, Globacom and MTN Logos Credit: BusinessDay

*The Nigerian Communications Commission informs telecoms consumers to note that at the expiration of 10 days from Monday, January 8, 2024, ‘subscribers of Globacom will no longer be able to make calls to MTN, but will be able to receive calls’. However, Globacom has since denied any outstanding inteconnect charges owed to MTN Nigeria

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Following the company’s non-settlement of outstanding interconnect charges, the Nigerian Communications Commission has notified the subscribers of Globacom Limited (Globacom) and the general public, that the Commission has granted approval for the partial disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.

ConsumerConnect reports the NCC disclosed this development in a ‘Pre-Disconnection Notice’ issued Monday, January 8, 2024.

Mr. Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs at NCC, in the notice said the telecoms sector regulatory Commission’s  approval of the partial disconnection was made “Pursuant to the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 and The Guidelines On Procedure For Granting Approval To Disconnect Telecommunications Operators, 2012.”

The NCC stated: “The Nigerian Communications Commission hereby notifies the public and subscribers of Globacom Limited (Globacom) that approval has been granted for the partial disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. (MTN), due to non-settlement of interconnect charges.”

The industry regulator also said that Globacom was notified of the application made by MTN, and was given an opportunity to comment and state its case accordingly.

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

The Commission thus, stated: “All subscribers are, therefore, requested to Take Notice that:

  1. 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.
  2. At the expiration of 10 (ten) days from the date of this notice, subscribers of Globacom will no longer be able to make calls to MTN, but will be able to Receive Calls.
  3. The Partial Disconnection, however, will allow in-bound calls to Globacom network.”

The NCC added: “Please note that this disconnection will subsist until otherwise determined by the Commission.”

Globacom denies NCC debt claim to MTN Nigeria

Meanwhile, Globacom Limited, operator of Glo brand, has denied any indebtedness to MTN Nigeria Communications Plc.

The Nigerian network operator has denied reports that the firm still owes MTN Nigeria interconnection charges despite the NCC’s published pre-disconnection notice suggesting otherwise.

A Globacom source disclosed to reporters in the week, in Lagos, that the amount owed MTN, totalling N1.6 billion, had been paid.

NCC figures from March 2023 suggest that MTN still has the most mobile subscriptions in the West African country’s telecoms ecosystem, estimated at 92.71 million. Globacom is second, with 60.76 million, followed by Airtel (60.30 million) and 9mobile (13.07 million) respectively.

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