•NCC calls for caution
With the increasing volume of protests from Nigerian youths over the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, it appears that South African telco MTN may have decided to take out its frustrations on Globacom, Nigeria’s 100% home-grown telco.
Many Globacom subscribers over the weekend expressed difficulties in completing calls to MTN subscribers in the last few days, suggesting that the South African company may have constricted some pipes delivering Globacom calls to its network. Glo Subscribers have to try several times before their calls are connected to MTN subscribers.
The new development comes after protests organised by the National Association of Nigerian Association on MTN premises in Kaduna and Benue on Thursday, last week. A few other protests planned for Anambra State and other locations in the country were aborted by the police.
MTN and Globacom have periodically had disputes over the details of their interconnection obligations to each other. It is not uncommon for telecommunications operators to disagree on interconnection obligations from time to time.
However, in order to ensure optimum experience for telecom consumers, the regulator of the industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has always advised caution in the area of disconnecting each other as a way of forcing a resolution of interconnect disputes.
Globacom has maintained a steady growth since inception on the strength of its innovative offerings and affordable plans. It is currently the second largest telecommunications operator, next to MTN, and MTN may be afraid that its recent woes, including imposition of a series of fines on account of SIM card registration infractions, among others, might make it possible for an unhindered Globacom to catch up with it at its current rate of growth. Efforts to get the top officials of both MTN and Glo proved abortive.