Senate blasts network providers over dropped calls

The Senate Thursday, condemned the inefficiency of Global System for Mobile telecommunications (GSM) network providers in Nigeria resulting in poor service delivery.

This is even as it directed the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to carry out thorough investigation of the causes of dropped calls in the GSM network and come up with innovations that would improve customer experience.

Reactions of the upper legislative chamber followed a motion to that effect by Senator Abdulfatai Buhari (APC Oyo North), co-sponsored by  34 others during plenary.

It therefore urged the NCC to “invoke the appropriate provisions of the law and other extant agreements to protect consumers where necessary”.

The Senate also said that refund should henceforth be made to the customers “for disrupted calls caused by network issues and allow them have more control over their usage of data bundles as practiced by telecommunications operators in countries like Kenya and South Africa”.

It further urged NCC and other regulatory agencies to carry out an effective supervision of the telecoms service providers to ensure regulatory excellence, operational efficiency and sterling service delivery.

Presenting the motion, Senator Buhari accused the telecommunication operators of robbing Nigerians of their hard earned billions of naira through network related call disconnections.

He lamented that GSM operators “have recently been experiencing terrible congestions on their networks, thus denying subscribers the benefits of getting value for their resources and hampering their ability to make or receive calls successfully”.

Senator Buhari said though service providers have continued to expand their networks coverage beyond what their existing infrastructure could carry, no adequate effort has been made to enhance the experience of their customers.

“A recent investigation shows that four major operators namely MTN, Airtel, Etisalat and Globacom could not provide the rate of drop calls on their networks, and appears not to see the reason to compensate their customers for disconnected calls or address their frustrations”, he said.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, said the 9th Senate would do everything to protect Nigerians against exploitation by telecoms service providers.

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