The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has once again fined Airtel and 9mobile with a combined sum of ₦136 million for violating a number of regulations.
The new fine is in connection to rules such as the unilateral disconnection of an interconnect carrier, automatic renewal of internet subscription and the Do-Not-Disturb directives.
NCC in the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report for Q1 2019 affirms that Airtel and Etisalat have failed to adhere to the above industry regulations.
In the report, NCC states that it had found Airtel contravening the Quality of service provisions by disconnecting an Interconnect carrier — Exchange Telecommunications limited — without getting the necessary approval which warranted a fine of ₦121 million.
9mobile, on the other hand, defaulted in the case of automatic renewal of internet subscription. According to the report, 9mobile said that the breach was as a result of a previously undetected and isolated failure on its internet subscription platform.
However, the commission did not find the excuse acceptable and sanctioned 9mobile for the act with a fine of ₦5,001,000.
Last year, the telecom regulator issued a directive that automatic renewal of internet subscriptions should not be carried out without the consent of the subscriber.
Both Airtel and 9mobile were found guilty of going against the Do-Not-Disturb directive, which protects subscribers from unsolicited Value-added Services (VAS) and they are both fined N5 million each.
With effect from July 1, 2016, NCC introduced the 2442 Do-Not-Disturb short-code activation for subscribers to opt-out of receiving unsolicited text messages and a toll-free line was provided for consumers to report whenever their activation isn’t being honoured.
This fine comes in the wake of seemingly regular fines placed on telecom giants in Nigeria. It can be recalled that MTN just finished settling the payment for the fine imposed on them by the NCC in October 2015.