In the latest flare-up of the ongoing interconnect charges feud, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a warning that it will soon block Globacom customers from making calls to MTN lines. The move follows the alleged non-settlement of interconnect charges and is set to take effect on January 18, 2024, according to a public notice signed by NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka.
The NCC disclosed that it has granted partial approval for the disconnection of Globacom from MTN Nigeria Communications Plc. The notice stated that, as of the specified date, Glo’s 61.39 million mobile subscriptions would no longer be able to make calls to MTN lines. However, inbound calls to the Globacom network will remain unaffected.
According to the NCC, this action is in line with Section 100 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003, and Paragraph 9 of the guidelines on the procedure for granting approval to disconnect telecommunications operators, 2012. The decision comes after careful consideration, including providing Globacom with an opportunity to comment and state its case.
This is not the first time Glo subscribers have faced disconnection over interconnect charges. In 2019, MTN briefly disconnected Glo subscribers due to a N4 billion debt, following a directive from the NCC. The telecom regulator had approved the disconnection of operators over rising interconnect debts.
While sources close to Glo claim the company settled its account with MTN, an anonymous source at MTN stated that they had not yet received the payment. The industry is closely watching the developments, and experts emphasize that only the involved parties, MTN and Glo, can resolve this prolonged issue.
President of the National Association of Telecom Subscribers, Adeolu Ogunbanjo, expressed support for the NCC’s actions but highlighted the potential impact on subscribers. He noted, “This is set to impact subscribers because people with Glo lines won’t be able to call MTN friends, businesses, and more.”