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Telecoms Subscribers Blame NCC for Poor Quality Service



  • Telecoms Subscribers Blame NCC for Poor Quality Service

Telecommunications subscribers have said that the increased adoption of mobile number portability services in the country, being encouraged by the Nigerian Communications Commission, is an indication of the poor level of service quality on telecoms networks.

Some of the subscribers spoke to our correspondent on Friday, while reacting to the NCC’s declaration of a state of emergency in the quality of service being provided by mobile network operators and others.

Prior to declaring the state of emergency on Monday, the commission had expressed worry about the degenerating service quality and vowed to sanction any errant operator.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, had said, “The consumer has to be treated with dignity. The eight-point agenda drives this point home.”

However, a subscriber based in Lagos, Mr. Lanre Oguntade, said that as long as the NCC continued to encourage porting, “then it (NCC) shouldn’t expect the quality of service to drastically improve.”

He said, “The networks on all the major GSM companies are terribly bad; so where is the NCC asking us to port to? The implication is that Nigerians will end up porting to all the four networks of MTN, Glo, Airtel and Etisalat that are providing us with poor service.

“In other parts of the world, even in some parts of Africa, it is rare to find people with multiple mobile lines and smartphones. This is so because the quality of service in their various countries is superb and to ensure that the subscribers don’t resort to porting, the regulators and telecoms firms in these countries keep making the service quality better.”

Another subscriber, Victor Okechukwu, said, “The NCC’s declaration of a state of emergency is only a waste of time. It should instead collaborate with the telecoms companies and concentrate its effort on improving the quality of service.”

He added, “And one of the things it has to do in this direction is to stop porting. By encouraging porting, the NCC is simply telling subscribers to port to another network if the other defaults, rather than looking at ways of improving the situation.”

Subscribers under the auspices of the National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers shared Oguntade and Okechukwu’s views.

NATCOMS said that there should not have been any reason for number portability at all, if the NCC had ensured many years ago that telecoms operators achieved the minimum coverage to be able to provide high quality of service to subscribers across the country.

The President of the association, Mr. Deolu Ogunbanjo, said though the industry had attracted a lot of infrastructure investment, majority of which has been channelled into building of telecoms infrastructure, more investment is still needed to achieve ubiquitous telecoms infrastructure to drive the economy.

“Unfortunately, the MNP will continue to be an option for subscribers using the over 153 million active lines in the country until we are able to achieve the quality of service that is satisfactory to all telecoms subscribers on their respective mobile networks,” he said.

Commenting on the development, the Director, Public Affairs at the NCC, Mr. Tony Ojobo, said, “The MNP is not a compulsory service that people must subscribe to. If some subscribers see a need for it, they may switch from their current network to another; and if not, they remain on their current network.”

According to him, as a need-based value-added service for willing subscribers. “It is not expected that the MNP will witness a surge in uptake over time,” he said.

He added, “Since the MNP is based on the decision of the subscribers to either port or not to port, I believe we are having impressive uptake, coming mostly from individuals who have seen a need to migrate. The beauty of porting services is freedom of choices.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Starlink Pulls Plug on Ghana, South Africa, and Others




Starlink, the satellite internet service operated by SpaceX, has announced the cessation of services in countries including Ghana and South Africa.

This decision comes as a significant blow to users who have come to rely on Starlink for their internet connectivity needs.

The decision, set to take effect by the end of April 2024, will disconnect all individuals and businesses in unauthorized locations across Africa, including Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe.

While subscribers in authorized countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Mauritius, and others can continue to use their kits without interruption, those in affected regions face imminent loss of access.

One of the reasons cited by Starlink for the discontinuation is the violation of its terms and conditions.

The company explained that its regional and global roaming plans were intended for temporary use by travelers and those in transit, not for permanent use in unauthorized areas. Users found in breach of these conditions face the termination of their service.

Furthermore, Starlink’s recent email to subscribers outlined stringent measures to enforce compliance.

Subscribers who use the roaming plan for more than two months outside authorized locations must either return home or update their account country to the current one. Failure to do so will result in limited service access.

The decision to discontinue services in certain countries raises questions about the future of internet connectivity in these regions.

Also, concerns have been raised about Starlink’s ability to enforce the new rules effectively. Reports indicate that the company has previously failed to enforce similar conditions for over a year, raising doubts about the efficacy of the current measures.

Starlink’s decision to pull the plug on Ghana, South Africa, and other nations underscores the complexities of providing satellite internet services in diverse regulatory environments.

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Nigeria’s Broadband Penetration Stalls at 42.53% Amid Connectivity Challenges




Nigeria’s broadband penetration has stalled at 42.53% as of January, according to the latest report.

Subscriptions currently stand at 92.19 million, indicating a significant gap in connectivity, particularly in rural areas.

The Nigerian National Broadband Plan 2020-2025 aims to increase broadband penetration to 70% by 2025, with the ultimate goal of achieving 96% mobile broadband coverage by 2030.

However, this ambitious target requires substantial investment—approximately $461 million, according to a recent report by the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA).

While the country’s major telecommunications companies, such as MTN Nigeria and Airtel Africa, have invested heavily in expanding their network infrastructure, much of this development has been concentrated in urban areas. Rural and underserved regions face a significant coverage gap, exacerbating the digital divide.

Despite these challenges, Nigeria has made progress in improving its broadband infrastructure. Since 2012, the mobile broadband coverage gap across Africa has decreased from 56% to 13% in 2022, due to significant investments in network capacity and new technologies.

Nonetheless, millions of Nigerians, particularly those in rural regions, remain without access to essential telecom services.

To address this issue, Nigeria’s government established the Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) in 2006, aimed at bridging the connectivity gap and expanding broadband access to unserved and underserved areas.

The fund provides resources for deploying telecommunications infrastructure in economically unviable regions.

The success of these initiatives, along with increased investments in broadband infrastructure and policies to incentivize internet expansion in remote areas, will be crucial in closing the connectivity gap and improving digital access for all Nigerians.

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iPhone Shipments Drop Amid Resurgence of Android Rivals



Apple iPhone 14

Apple Inc. reported a significant drop in iPhone shipments during the March quarter, reflecting a downturn in sales across China amid the resurgence of competition from Android-powered rivals.

According to market tracker IDC, the tech giant shipped 50.1 million iPhones in the first three months of the year, a 9.6% year-on-year decline that fell short of the average analyst estimate of 51.7 million.

The steep decrease in iPhone sales marks Apple’s most significant quarterly dip since 2022, when Covid-19 lockdowns disrupted supply chains.

This time, the Cupertino-based company faces challenges from resurgent competitors such as Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp.

These firms have rebounded strongly in recent quarters, and their innovative product lines have begun to reclaim market share from Apple in China.

Samsung Electronics Co. regained its position as the top smartphone supplier globally, while Apple ranked second. Xiaomi closed the gap on Apple, shipping 40.8 million units, an impressive 33.8% increase year-on-year.

Transsion Holdings, another key player in the budget smartphone segment, nearly doubled its shipments, showcasing the competitive environment Apple faces.

Nabila Popal, research director at IDC, highlighted the broader shift in the smartphone market, which has recovered from the supply chain disruptions and challenges of recent years.

“While Apple has demonstrated resilience and growth in recent years, maintaining its pace and share in the market may prove challenging as Android manufacturers make strides,” Popal commented.

Apple has a strong brand and loyal customer base, yet its market position may be tested further by the aggressive pricing and innovative products offered by Chinese rivals.

The company’s efforts to sustain its premium pricing strategy may also be challenged as more customers consider switching to Android alternatives.

As the tech industry looks ahead to the rest of the year, Apple’s upcoming earnings report and strategic moves to address this competitive pressure will be closely watched by investors and industry observers alike.

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