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NCC to declare 2018 ‘Year for improved quality of service’

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Pro. Danbatta

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has indicated plans are under way to focus on ‘improved quality of service’ in year 2018.

The telecom industry Regulator had declared 2017 as the ‘telecom consumer year’ with emphasis on combating unsolicited messages and other issues that tantamount to disturbing the consumer.

Riding on the success of the campaign where over 10million consumers subscribed to its ‘Do Not Disturb’ (DND) code, the Commission is now delving to the perennial issue of poor quality of network.

Explaining the rationale behind the focus, the Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, says “the decision was reached after recording a successful outing in 2017, which is dedicated to ‘the Consumer’.

To achieve this, he said the Commission had put measures in place to address the infrastructure deficit in the system, provide more spectrums and address the challenge of Right of Way (RoW).

Prof. Danbatta made these remarks at the recent USPF, GSMA Operators, and Stakeholders Universal Access Roundtable.

He disclosed that the NCC aims to declare 2018 as the year to improve quality of service in the country.

‘‘We cannot do this without addressing deficit in infrastructure, without providing more spectrum, without talking about RoW and without containing the challenge of the use of unregistered Sim cards that are now in circulation which is bringing additional burden on the networks.

‘‘There are whole lots of issues we hope the campaign can achieve in the same way and manner dedicating 2017 as a year of Consumer has achieved result. ‘‘In 2018, we will see quality of service improve and we are coming out with programmes that will be geared towards improving Quality of service in the year to come.’’

In his own address, Senior Director, Policy Engagement, Government and Regulatory Affairs at GSMA, Fraser Graham said the roundtable was a product of long discussions with the NCC’s management and some members of the organization.

He said there is no one solution to addressing access gap but requires critical look into the demand and supply side of the coin through digital training and awareness, especially in the developing countries.

‘‘We have discussed with the EVC last year and some of our members about the operation of the USPF, how it was working and some suggestion on how it can be improved.

‘‘We decided that the best way will be for the whole of the stakeholders to be in the same room discuss positions and see how we can improve the universal access coverage.

‘‘There is no one solution to the challenges, but GSMS research has identified scenarios that can be looked at. You need to look at the supply side, how can we improve technology, how can we can improve services and make them more efficient.

‘‘On the demand side, focus should be how can we increase demand services, digital literacy and training children at early age, top be able to use digital technology and smart phones and increase demand for e-Government services as well as digital illiteracy.

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