Despite $5.2 billion fine on Africa’s largest mobile network, MTN, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, said that the four (4) mobile network operators, namely MTN, Airtel, Globacom and EMTS (Etisalat) paid a total of N120.4 million as fine for sales of pre-registered SIM Cards and MSISDN that were incomplete and improperly registered.
The telecommunication’s regulatory agency in its compliance monitoring and enforcement activities report for the third quarter in 2015 stated that it has sanctioned four (4) mobile network operators, namely MTN, Airtel, Globacom and EMTS (Etisalat) a total sum of N40,000,000.00 (Forty Million Naira) for sales of pre-registered SIM Cards.
NCC said that the sanctions were in accordance with the provisions of the NCC Regulation on Telephone Subscribers Registration, 2011.
The report shows a breakdown of the fees is as follows: i. MTN: N21,800,000.00 (Twenty One Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) ii. Airtel: N3,800,000.00 (Three Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira) iii. Globacom: N7,400,000.00 (Seven Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) iv. EMTS (ETISALAT) : N7,000,000.00 (Seven Million Naira).
Also, the Commission said it fined MTN Nigeria Communications Limited the sum of N80, 400,000.00 (Eighty Million, Four Hundred Naira) for failure to deactivate a total of 420 (Four Hundred and Two) MSISDN that were incomplete and improperly registered.
However, The NCC said that the operators have since paid the above amounts.
It would be recalled that in October MTN was fined $5.2bn by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to disconnect up to five million unregistered SIM cards in that country.
Further, The Commission stated that the monitored the Mobile Number Portability Scheme within the quarter showed that in July 2015, there were a total of 28,707 porting requests received from the recipient network with a total of 22,886 successful completed ports while a total of 5,740 failed.
In August 2015, it showed that there were a total of 30,076 porting requests received from the recipient network with a total of 19,645 successful completed ports while a total of 3,873 failed as the figures for September 2015 is being compiled.
The regulatory agency however said that to address the increasing cases of port request rejections on the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme, it has resolved to monitor and sanction violations with MNP process time obligations.
According to the report, “Consequent upon the above, series of compliance checks were carried out regarding timer violations by Donor operators with resepct to “validation and deactivation responses”” which have timelines of (Two) 2 hours and 1 hour respectively.
“The following violations were observed during the quarter: “Timer Violations by Etisalat A timer deactivation violation by Etisalat regarding a Corporate Port request of over 63 lines belonging to Neoconde Energy Limited. The company had initiated a corporate port out request from Etisalat to Airtel on 7th August, 2015 at 9.13am but was partially completed as at 1.52pm on the same day. As a result, these subscribers were unable to receive calls from Etisalat’s network.
“Timer Violations by MTN A timer deactivation violation by MTN regarding a Corporate Port request of over 109 lines belonging to Nigerian Breweries Plc. The company had initiated a corporate port out request from MTN to Glo via lead MSISDN: 07036735494 on 11th August, 2015 at 1.20pm but was partially completed as at 11.22am on 14th
August, 2015. As a result, these subscribers were not been able to receive calls from MTN Subscribers.
“In the same vein, a timer validation violations by MTN regarding four (4) individual Port requests from MSISDNs: 08139382308, 08143810152, 08135485305 and 08162108093. MTN breached the timer of two (2) hours for validation of four (4) port requests from the NPC as stated in the MNP Business Rules.
“Timer Violations by Globacom A timer validation violations by Glo regarding eleven (11) individual & one (1) corporate Port requests. Glo had breached the two (2) hours allowable for validation of six (6) port requests from the NPC as stated in the MNP Business Rules. Glo validated one of these port requests over nine (9) hours after receipt from the MNP adminsitrator. Glo also breached the one (1) allowable hour for the Donor to deactivate one hundred and forty seven (147) Ported out lines belonging to Reckitt Limited consistent with provisions of the MNP Business Rules.”
The commission therefore said that all the above timer violations are currently undergoing enforcement actions.
Also, The Commission’s surveillance and intelligence gathering exercise revealed an improper port-in transaction by Etisalat on 1st & 3rd September, 2015. Etisalat Limited had initiated the porting of 296 lines belonging to Etranzact on 1st
September, 2015. However, Etransact International Plc confirmed that it did not authorize the port out of any of its number currently with various other network operators.
NCC said it had directed Etisalat to repatriate the lines back to the legitimate operator while the case is currently enforcement attention.
Meanwhile, The Commission said it has continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go Billing on depletion of the data bundle.
“Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCA 2003, the Commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the following directions: i. That where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/ billing rate for automatic migration;
“ii. That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle. account, except with the express consent and authorization of the subscriber via SMS.
The agency said a follow-up Compliance check by the Commission revealed that Etisalat is in compliance with Direction #1 & Direction #2 of the Commission; while Globacom is in compliance with Direction #1 as subscribers receive SMS detailing tariff rate for auto- migration on depletion of their data bundle. However, Globacom failed to obtain express consent from subscribers before migration to PAYG and therefore in violation of Direction #2;
It noted that MTN is in compliance with Direction #1 but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended on depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber while Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions.
It therefore said that consequent upon the above, the Commission has issued a notice of intention to sanction the concerned service providers.


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