NATCOMS Fights For Mobile Phone Users In Nigeria

The National Association of Telecommunications subscribers of Nigeria (NATCOMS) have decided to take the three major GSM networks: Airtel, Glo & MTN head-on. The association has threatened to ban the companies from signing-on new subscribers till complaints about poor service like drop calls, interrupted calls and undelivered messages subside or stop. The dead-line is till end November.

Reuben Muoka, a spokesman for the Nigerian Communications Commission said “Bharti Airtel Ltd. of India, local firm Globacom Ltd. and South Africa-based MTN Group Ltd. all face a deadline at the end of November to improve their service. Otherwise, they will be liable for fines and halted from expanding their customer base,” He further confirmed that “The firms will be judged on users being able to make and complete calls, as well as the quality of the calls. The commission already has equipment in place to monitor performance by the companies”.

Mobile phone users in Nigeria often carry multiple phones with different carriers to make sure they can make calls & be reached. With the government allowing mobile access to its 150 million & growing population barely a decade ago, Nigeria is on a growth spree & that makes it a very lucrative market for mobile services.  The state-run landline is in shambles & no one is interested in running it.

Bharti Airtel entering the market had started a price war & call rates had plummeted, much to the relief of the Nigerians, but with over-saturation of the networks they can only hope that this ultimatum works.

India too had been facing network congestion particularly in the metros. Should the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) take such steps against the Telecom giants?

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