NCC resolves 15-year interconnection dispute between MTN and Globacom

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February 9, 2024
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2 min read
NCC
  • MTN Nigeria and Globacom (Glo) have agreed to resolve their 15-year dispute over interconnection fees. 
  • Consequently, the National Communications Commission (NCC) has withdrawn its approval of MTN's plan to disconnect Globacom. 
  • Per reports, MTN settled for Glo to pay ₦2 billion instead of the ₦3 billion initially requested to pay the interest.

Following a five-day outage that impacted roughly 46.6 million subscribers of both network providers, Globacom reportedly paid MTN Nigeria ₦ 2.6 billion in interconnection debt in 2019. 

The telecom regulator emphasised that “strict adherence to the terms and conditions of licences, particularly those delineated in interconnection agreements, is imperative for all Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and other licensees within the telecommunications industry.”

Additionally, the commission has announced it will ask MNOs for pertinent documentation and frequent updates and take an open approach to resolve any future instances of interconnect indebtedness in the industry.

Recall that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) disclosed in a notice in January 2024 that it had granted partial approval for Globacom to separate from MTN Nigeria. 

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The commission further stated that after ten days from the date of the notice, Glo customers will be able to receive calls but will no longer be able to make calls to MTN. 

On January 17, 2024, NCC announced that the two telcos had agreed to resolve the interconnection debt dispute. Then, it temporarily halted the disconnection for another 21 days, which took effect immediately.  

The commission stressed the importance of MNOs and other telecom industry licensees following the terms and conditions outlined in their licences, particularly those in their interconnection agreements.  

It reiterated that timely settlement of all interconnection debts by operating companies will prevent inconvenience for users of the service providers.

The country's telecom operators have expressed fear that the telecom sector in Nigeria will not survive the increase in operating costs without a change in tariffs.

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In the meantime, the NCC demanded that the telecoms justify the increase in tariffs.

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