Writer: YUSUPH MUSTAPHA (Intern)
Bosun Tijani (Dr.) the Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy, recently launched an online survey to find out if the citizens are aware of the unified Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) short codes recently approved by the Nigerian Communications Commission (@NgComCommission) for all mobile networks in Nigeria.
In this post, we just want to notify those who might not be aware that the former USSD codes like the *556* for data balance by MTN has changed. Same applies to Airtel, Glo and 9mobile.
USSD is a technology used by mobile phones to send and receive text-based information through cellular networks.
The primary application of USSD codes is on mobile devices, they enable users to carry out tasks—ranging from checking their account balances and topping up mobile credit to accessing customer services and engaging with menu-based systems provided by mobile operators.
The aim of this move by NCC was to streamline user experience and provide subscribers with a seamless way to recharge airtime and access essential services across all networks.
Previously, mobile subscribers had to memorize network-specific USSD codes for tasks like recharging and checking their balances, for example, MTN subscribers would use *555# and *556#, while Glo, Airtel, and 9mobile had their own respective codes.
However, with the implementation of the unified USSD, which will help in reducing confusion and errors, Subscribers can dial the same set of codes regardless of the network they are subscribed to and perform tasks like credit recharge, data plan inquiries, and balance checks.
Nonetheless, several significant USSD codes remain unchanged with their functions preserved for the benefit of subscribers, as any modifications could potentially disrupt essential services and cause inconvenience to users.
Codes such as DND (2442), porting services (3232), NIN verification, and NIN-SIM linkage (*996#) will continue to serve their intended purposes without any alterations.
Here is a quick rundown of the unified USSD codes for all mobile networks in Nigeria:
- Call Centre: 300
- Borrow Services: *303#
- Stop Service: *305#
- Check Balance: *310#
- Credit Recharge: *311#
- Data Plan: *312#
- Data Plan Balance: *323#
- Share Services: *321#
The introduction of a unified USSD code for all mobile networks in Nigeria marks a significant stride in NCC’s goal of enhancing user experience and streamlining operations.
This initiative will not only simplify the way subscribers interact with their mobile devices but will also pave the way for a more connected and technologically advanced Nigeria.