NCC Slams 9mobile and Airtel with a Combined Fine of N136M

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined Airtel and 9mobile once again with a total sum of N136M for the violation of some regulations

NCC, the telecoms regulator, in the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report for the first quarter in 2019 said that both telecom operators have failed to operate by some of the industry regulations. The violation of regulations such as the automatic renewal of Internet subscription, the unilateral disconnection of an interconnect carrier and the Do-Not-Directives, has attracted this fine.

Last year, NCC issued a directive to all network providers to cease from carrying out unwarranted or automatic renewal of their data package without the consent of subscribers, as well as their practice of subscribing consumers to value-added services (VAS) forcefully.

Moreover, as far back as 2016, the telecoms regulator introduced the 2442 Do-Not short-code activation to allow subscribers opt-out of received unwanted text messages, and consumers were provided with a toll-free line to report whenever their activation regulated was flouted.

As stated by NCC in the report, Airtel has been contravening the Quality of Service regulation with the disconnection of an Interconnect carrier – Exchange Telecommunications limited – without first receiving the necessary approval. This alone warranted a N121 million fine.

On the other hand, the report stated that 9mobile breached the rule against the automatic renewal of Internet subscription. It further disclosed that the default was as a result of an isolated failure on its Internet subscription platform which was previously undetected.

Both telecom operators – 9mobile and Airtel – were found guilty of going against the NCC Do-Not-Disturb Directive which protects data subscribers from Value-added-Services (VAS), and they were both fined N5 million each for this violation.

This fine follows in the wake of other fines imposed on Nigerian telecoms giants. In fact, MTN just completed payment for the fine slammed on them by the NCC in 2015.