NCC Commissioner, Okechukwu Itanyi
By Amaka Eze
Determined to solve the persistent poor Quality of Service (QoS) in the telecoms industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it had engaged seven contractors to carry out a QoS drive testing across the country.
The Executive Vice-Chairman, NCC, Dr. Eugene Juwah, said at the National Stakeholders Consultative Forum on 2013 - 2017 Strategic Management Plan (SMP), recently in Lagos that the seven contractors would monitor QoS level in the six geo-political zones of the country.
According to Juwah, “I am very happy to announce that the commission has engaged the services of seven drive test contractors to carry out quality of service drive-testing in the six geo-political zones and Lagos. They will commence service fully before the end of April. It is expected to lead to comprehensive and across the country quality of service monitoring,” he said.
He said: “This initiative was part of the measures aimed at tackling the seemingly inflexible QoS challenges in the country.”
Juwah added that the problem of QoS in the country, although appearing intractable, would soon be a thing of the past, with what NCC was to bring the situation under control, including the number portability initiative.
The EVC explained that the recent gazetting of the Quality of Service Regulations by the Federal Ministry of Justice would strengthen the NCC in fighting the problem.
He said: “Although the problem of QoS looked intractable for a while, I am relieved to announce that some definite measures are being taken to bring it under control. One of such measures is the recent approval and gazetting of the Quality of Service Regulations by the Federal Ministry of Justice. This will strengthen the NCC to take some severe measures when service providers are found wanting.”
He explained that in addition, the commission’s monitoring and enforcement personnel had been busy lately, either stopping the activities of illegal users of spectrum or engaging importers of handsets that were not type-approved.
“We will not permit professional banditry in the industry as we are fully empowered by the Communications Act to deal with issues of compliance and assurance standards,” he said.
Juwah explained that the NCC would not rest on its oars to ensure that the global community recognised Nigeria as a destination country for telecoms investment.
“We also want the Nigerian subscribers to enjoy the best of services, comparable to anywhere else in the world,” he added.
The NCC boss said the commission and service providers had registered 110,433,976 SIM cards.
Juwah, who said the collected data was going through processing and cleaning at the NCC, stated that the commission would soon begin a verification exercise to ensure that multiple registrations were eliminated in order to create database integrity and credibility.
“This will naturally lead to the implementation of a more robust mobile number portability, which is at advanced stage of actualisation.
The exercise, we believe, can positively impact on quality of service and stimulate another facet of healthy competition. That project will also broaden the choices available to subscribers and impose a code of behaviour on the operators to retain their subscribers.”