The regulatory body of the telecommunications sector in Nigeria – Nigerian Communications Commission(NCC), sometime ago banned promotions by telecom operators.

This may be a measure imposed to shore up the quality of telecommunications in Nigeria. It looks like an indirect way of NCC telling the mobile telecom operators to channel the resources they are frittering away through promotions in shoring up the quality of services they provide and stop giving excuses of marginal profit.

The telecom operators to whom the directive was directed are:
• GLOBACOM LTD
• MTN
• INTERCELLULAR NIG PLC
• VISAFONE COMMS LTD
• ETISALAT
• AIRTEL NETWORKS LTD
• MULTILINKS TELECOMS LTD

According to a release signed by Tony Ojobo, the commission’s director of public affairs, the directive primarily arose due to “several complaints from consumers, Industry Stakeholders against the various promotions offered by Telecommunications Operators”

Specific reasons stated included:

1. “these promotions have increased the number of minutes available to subscribers for use within a limited period of time thereby creating congestion in the networks as subscribers try to use up the available minutes within the stipulated time”

2. “on-net calls were now being offered by Operators at tariffs well below the prevailing inter-connect rates thereby introducing anti-competitive practices and behavior”

3. “termination of calls were becoming increasingly difficult from one network to another and overall consumer experience on the networks has become very poor thereby making it extremely difficult for subscribers to make calls successfully”

What next in the bag of tricks of these telecom operators?