Telecommunications subscribers have started panicking over the news of the regulator granting approval to Airtel Nigeria to partially disconnect Globacom network.
The partial disconnection, which will take effect from October 28, will make it impossible for the Nigerian telecommunications company (Glo) subscribers to make calls to Airtel network; but they can receive calls from Airtel network.
The disconnection approval was given by the telecoms industry regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) for failing to settle the interconnect debts running into billions of naira after several grace period has been extended to the telco.
Interconnect debts are bills that emanate from charges for calls generated from a particular network that terminate on another network. These bills are settled amicably through clearing houses approved and licensed by the NCC
If a Globacom subscriber initiates a call to an Airtel subscriber, the call is terminated on the Airtel network and Globacom is expected to pay the approved fee for terminating calls on Airtel network and vice vasa.
Recall, MTN had accused Globacom of refusing to pay up its interconnect indebtedness and threatened to disconnect Glo subscribers, before NCC intervened.
In a statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu clearly insisted that the disconnection will subsist until otherwise determined by the Commission.
“This is accordance with Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and having examined the application and circumstances surrounding the indebtedness determined that the affected operator does not have sufficient reason for non-payment of interconnect charges.
“At the expiration of 10 days from the date of this notice, subscribers on the network of Globacom will no longer be able to make calls to Airtel but will be able to receive calls. The partial disconnection, however, will allow in-bound calls to the Glomobile network,” NCC stated.
Reacting to this a consumer, Mrs Adenike Oluwajobi decried the fact that consumers are always at the receiving end of any telco tussle.
In her words, “This is not just fair on our part. So from October 28th, I can’t use my line to call my daughter who is currently schooling in the North because she uses Airtel. Our recharge cards are prepaid, so why should we be the one to bear the brunt again”, Oluwajobi lamented.
Another subscriber who is a businessman, Mr Andrew Odili said he will rather port to another line.
“I saw the news. I will rather act than say anything. I think it is high time I change this Glo SIM card, I can’t put my business in jeopardy. Am porting ”, Odili declared.