Subscribers groan as operators fight over interconnect issues

NCC Building

Subscribers of Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) services are lamenting over their inability to make seamless call over different network as a result of interconnectivity issues.

Mr. Kayode Adeyemi, one of the subscribers that spoke to Nigeria CommunicationsWeek expressed his frustration, saying: “I’m a subscriber of three of the GSM operators, each time I try to make across the network calls; it becomes difficulty now compared to what it used to be. What I hear is ‘the number you are calling is not available at the moment’ but if I call with the same network line it will go through.

This situation is becoming worrisome; it seems we are going back to the 2011 era when big operators used interconnection as a weapon to frustrate small operators”.

Ike Nnamani, chief executive officer, Medallion, said that interconnectivity has remained a big issue in the country’s telecommunications industry because of none compliance of operators to Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directive on the percentage of traffic that should pass through the clearing houses.

“NCC stipulated that operators should channel 10 percent of their traffic through clearing houses, but today they are doing less than five percent which is below 50 percent of the stipulated figure. This is one of the reasons for the situation subscribers are facing in making across the network calls.

“More so, absence of ‘Settlement scheme’ in the industry is also responsible which is being worked on by the NCC. This is the fallout of continuous use of peer to peer traffic model; Ghana borrowed the idea of clearing house from Nigeria.

Today, Ghanaian parliament has passed a law making it illegal for any operator operating in their country to pass traffic directly between operators without going through a clearing house.

These operators frustrating clearing house operation in Nigeria are also operating in Ghana and have complied with the law, but same cannot be said in Nigeria,” he added.

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