Nigeria Bans GSM Promotions

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has reiterated its position on poor Quality of Service (QoS) across the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operators and said its ban on all promotions will stay in force until quality improves.

On 06 July 2007, the NCC issued a ban on all promotions of GSM services in the country due to poor services.

The NCC said that following its results generated by latest tests with the newly acquired GSM QoS testing equipment, the Commission found it imperative to slam another ban on operators due to ‘unsatisfactory’ results available to the agency, which are ‘unacceptable’.

Affirming the latest ban, the head of public affairs at NCC, Mr. Dave Imoko said the commission had issued a fresh directive to GSM operators, stopping them from embarking on promotions of any kind and any form until further notice.

“NCC, hereby issues fresh directives stopping the GSM operators from embarking on promotions of any kind,” he declared in a press statement.

As said by him, this directive affects on-going promotions or any new ones yet to be embarked upon by any of the operators as the results of the tests carried out in some parts of the country have been very ‘unsatisfactory.’

“The Commission wishes to state that the level of performance of the GSM networks in some parts of the country where tests have been already completed were poor and unacceptable,” he asserted.

Mr. Imoko further said that with the directive, all the major GSM operators were grossly in default on several key performance indicators for ascertaining quality of service.

“The key parameters on which the GSM networks were being tested include traffic channel congestion, call completion rates, call set-up success rates, call drop rates, percentage of failed calls, call set up time, speech quality index, and handover success rates,” he explained.

GSM operators, he said, were expected to attain or exceed threshold performance levels for these key indicators with respect to what the Commission had benchmarked for each parameter.

Mr. Imoko equally explained that the Commission’s technical team had recently carried out QoS tests in Kano, Bauchi and Kaduna States and the results were not up to the minimum standards required, adding that in Bauchi State, for instance, some members of the Senate Committee on Communications witnessed the test being carried out by a technical team of the NCC.

In line with the Commission?s 2008 strategy, he said the newly acquired GSM QoS test equipment has been fully deployed to regularly monitor the performance of operators in all states of the federation.

Mr. Imoko said, “The test will enable the Commission to measure the various performance levels of the operators for each month as it sets to implement the payment of compensation to subscribers affected by poor quality of service from any of the operators.”

The NCC also promised to publish details of the test results obtained with a view to informing subscribers of the individual network performances of the various service providers.