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Executive Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Dambatta
Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, has said that experience of early depletion or rise in data consumption by telecoms consumers are not necessarily as a result of illegal deductions or sharp practices by mobile network operators.
Rather, he said, “The reasons include the advancement in technology, which has led to the rise in applications, updates and services that leverage on this technology and advancement of supportive data infrastructure.”
Others, according to him, are increase in video-based advertising content by social media companies which in some cases are layered on free services offered by the companies; auto updates of apps on the phone over mobile data network without any sort of prompting or intervention by the user of the mobile phone.
Danbatta spoke during a presentation at the monthly briefing on Short-Term Key Performance Indicators by agencies under the Federal Ministry of Communications.
The Minister of Communications, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, and other officials of the ministry, attended the meeting.
In his presentation, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, stressed that while regulatory efforts are ongoing towards a downward review of cost of data and improved quality of data services for telecom subscribers, the drivers of the cost of data provision and quality of service in Nigeria are, however, not entirely within the control of the Commission.
“These data provision drivers and factors include Right of Way issues, fibre cuts, vandalism, multiple taxations, insecurity and power outages as well as site access denial that tend to temper seamless service provision.
Speaking on measures being taken by the Commission towards curbing proliferation of pre-registered SIM cards in the country, Danbatta elaborated on a broad-based identity management database solution being worked on to permanently curb the menace.
“In view of the grave impact of pre-registered SIM cards and other SIM-related crimes on national security of the country arising from this challenge, the Commission is considering implementing a robust identity management solutions to curb the menace once and for all as the telecom sector transit into a new SIM Card Registration Regime based on the Mandatory Use of National Identity Number Regulations issued by the National Identity Management Commission.”
On Call Drop Rate, Danbatta said, based on its monthly monitoring of operators’ level of quality of service delivery, “the call drop rate across all mobile networks this year has been below one per cent threshold, a situation that has steadily and relatively improved quality of service of telecoms consumers.
Meanwhile, Pantami has commended the NCC for doing well in enlightenment on consumer issues and other ongoing initiatives, adding that “we can re-strategise and heighten campaigns in all media, especially in local languages.”