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NCC, Telcos in new collaboration to improve service quality

By on February 27, 2015

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator, is in a new collaboration with telecoms operators to further improve service quality across networks.

The new move is to enable both parties put heads together and agree on certain areas on how best to improve service quality, without introducing penalties like fines and sanctions.

Vice President, Regulatory and Corporate Affairs, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Ibrahim Dikko, who informed THISDAY of the new development recently, said they have come to realise that the best way to achieve better service quality in the telecoms industry, is for the regulators and the telecommunications operators (Telcos), to come together, discuss the challenges and come up with better solutions to address them, instead of imposing sanctions on operators for not meeting the set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). He said such understanding has been reached, hence the new collaboration.

Dikko who refuted claims from certain quarters that the NCC may have relaxed over poor service quality in the telecoms industry, said: “I do not think the NCC or the operators are quiet over the issue of service quality because operators have been engaging very closely with NCC on this in recent times. The truth is that no network wants to have poor service quality for any reason, because the better the quality is, the more subscribers they get on the network.”

In the last quarter, the NCC instituted a working team to address the issue of service quality across networks by dividing the entire country into regions and assigned the teams to cover each region and ensure that service quality improves in these regions. That strategy is working and the quality of service is improving by the day, Dikko said.

According to him, good customer experience in terms of service quality, is one thing that Etisalat holds very dear to subscribers. We have very aggressive rollout policy and last year we rolled out close to 1000 Base Transceiver Sites (BTS) across the country and we will continue to rollout more BTS to expand our networks.

We see network expansion as priority to our business, and we have spent millions of dollars on network rollout, since the inception of our operations in the country, Dikko said.

Asked if NCC is providing any form of support or incentives to enhance speedy network expansion, Dikko said the telecoms regulator has done a lot in this area, and has gone ahead to license InfraCos that will provide infrastructure for broadband rollout in the country.

Commending the NCC for the licensing of MainOne and IHS as InfraCos that will provide broadband infrastructure for Lagos and North-central respectively, Dikko said the InfraCos would help address the shortfall in telecoms infrastructure and facilitate fast network rollout among telecoms operators.

Apart from addressing the infrastructure challenge, telecoms operators also need additional spectrum licence to further drive network expansion and I believe the NCC is also working to achieve that, Dikko said. “We need more spectrum licences in this area because more spectrum will help us in providing better service to our subscribers. The InfraCos will create the infrastructure, do the transmission of data capacities from the shores to the hinterland to address the last-mile issue and ensure that broadband penetration is achieved in the country. The essence is to provide quality service for voice and data, Dikko said.