The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has disclosed its intention to disconnect Globacom (Glo) customers from making calls to MTN lines due to an alleged non-settlement of interconnect charges. The announcement was made on Monday through a public notice signed by the Director of the Public Affairs Department, Reuben Muoka.
The NCC explained that it had granted partial approval for the disconnection of Glo from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc in accordance with Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and Paragraph 9 of the guidelines on procedure for granting approval to disconnect telecommunications operators, 2012.
Glo, with 61.39 million mobile subscriptions as of August 2023, is expected to face the disconnection from making calls to MTN lines starting from January 18, 2024. The NCC clarified that the disconnection would be partial, allowing inbound calls to Glo’s network while restricting outbound calls to MTN.
According to the public notice, the NCC had notified Globacom of the application made by MTN and provided the telecom company with the opportunity to comment and state its case. Following an examination of the application and circumstances surrounding the indebtedness, the NCC determined that Glo does not have sufficient or justifiable reasons for non-payment of the interconnect charges.
The notice stated, “The partial disconnection, however, will allow in-bound calls to Glo’s network.” The NCC emphasized that the disconnection would persist until otherwise determined by the commission.
This is not the first time Glo subscribers have faced disconnection from making calls to MTN over the same issue. In 2019, MTN briefly disconnected Glo subscribers in response to a directive from the NCC due to a N4 billion debt.
While Glo has not released any official communication on the matter, sources close to the telecom company claim that the outstanding payments have already been settled. On the other hand, an anonymous source from MTN has mentioned that the company has yet to receive the payment.
Industry experts are closely monitoring the situation, acknowledging that only MTN and Glo can resolve this protracted issue. The President of the National Association of Telecoms Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, stressed the importance for telecom companies not to owe each other. The telecom industry is awaiting further developments to see how the situation unfolds.