Why telecom operators record 9,077 service outages in Q2 2020: NCC

*How operational challenges caused unexpected disruptions to operators’ QoS delivery, intermittent quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers ─NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Denial of access to telecom sites for maintenance, fibre cuts from construction activities, vandalism, power generator and battery theft at sites have all been identified as factors that affected the Quality of Service (QoS) of telecom operators in the second quarter of 2020 in Nigeria.

Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management (ECSM), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), disclosed this in a presentation during the recent first Virtual Telecoms Consumer Parliament (VTCP) of the NCC in Abuja, FCT.

It was learnt Adewolu stated that major mobile network operators (MNOs) in the country recorded 9,077 cases of service outages on their networks in the second quarter of the year.

According to him, the numerous complaints received from consumers by the Commission since the outbreak of the pandemic are indicative of the widening gap between the consumer QoS and the QoE provided by the service providers, which should be addressed.

The development resulted in unexpected disruptions to operators’ QoS delivery and intermittent quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers.

Nigerian Telecom Operators   

Adewolu said that of the 9,077 service outages recorded by the operators, 3,585 were caused by incidence of denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance, 4,972 were triggered by incidences of fibre cuts from construction activities and vandalism while 520 cases were as a result of incidences of generator and battery theft at sites.

He, however, said that in a proactive step to mitigate the challenges, the Commission swiftly responded by taking some major decisions to mitigate any unforeseen challenges that may cause serious disruptions in service delivery to the consumers through the COVID-19 pandemic period.

“The Commission approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic.

“We also ensured that the service providers meet the needs of their teeming consumers by securing Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications officials and staff for easy movement during the lockdown.

“This was to ensure ease of movement to service base stations and other telecom facilities and equipment.”

Adewolu, therefore, urged all the stakeholders to join hands with the Commission in enlightening all citizens on the need to protect the telecom infrastructure in their domain without which quality of service delivery will be hampered.

He also challenged the operators to increase and improve their network capacity in view of the increasing consumer demand for telecom products and services in recent times.

“Service providers must embark on pervasive consumer education and enlightenment campaign about data usage and billing to ensure their subscribers have all the required information to make informed decisions so as get value for money spent.

“Operators also need to train and equip their customer care personnel on consumer complaint management as well as ensuring that consumer complaints are resolved conclusively and in line with the revised Service Level Agreement (SLA),” said the NCC Executive Commissioner for Stakeholder Management.

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