Nigerian group questions exclusion of wireless carrier in poor service ruling

LAGOS, NIGERIA – A consumer group is pressuring the Nigerian Communications Commission to say whether wireless provider Glo Mobile will be forced to compensate subscribers for poor quality of service.

Last September the commission said it would issue directives to three GSM operators — Glo Mobile, MTN and Celtel — to reimburse subscribers for service that was below average quality. The operators failed to meet minimum service levels as measured by the commission’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) benchmarks.

MTN and Celtel filed a lawsuit to halt the directive, but two weeks ago a federal high court in Lagos ruled that they had to offer compensation, as directed by the commission.

While commending the court over the decision, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS) has expressed concern about Glo Mobile.

The operator did not participate in the suit brought by MTN and Celtel. However, neither Glo Mobile nor the commission has commented on whether the operator is paying for poor service levels.

“We also noted with utmost dissatisfaction and dismay the non-inclusion of the Glo network in the compensation deal for Glo subscribers by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC),” the consumer group said.

“Why is the Glo Mobile network not included in the compensation deal for subscribers on Glo?” the consumers group asked. “Is the NCC saying that Glo has been giving subscribers on its network good quality service since they started in 2003? Is Glo Mobile a perfect network that has complied with international best practices?”

NATCOMS is asking for Key Performance Indicator benchmarks for Glo Mobile between 2006 and 2007.

The group also called on the NCC to ensure that the deadline given to the operators to complete compensation is adhered to, in line with the court judgment.

The operators must credit 175 Naira (US$1.50) to each of their subscribers. The total amount could total billions of Nairas (tens of millions of dollars). The two companies may appeal the Federal High Court within 30 days of the ruling.