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A review of NCC’s Q3-19 compliance monitoring, enforcement report

Across 2019, the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) kept to its creed by leaving over and above expectation in terms of regulatory compliance monitoring and related enforcement.

Within third quarter of the period under review, a number of milestones were recorded by the commission under regulatory compliance monitoring and related enforcement.

Monitoring of Compliance with the Commission’s Direction on Routing of a Minimum of 10% Of Interconnect Traffic by Mobile Network Operators (MNOS) through Interconnect Exchange Licensees was taken very seriously.

Pursuant to the directive that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Interconnect Clearing Houses forward their monthly interconnect traffic to the Commission on/before 10th of the preceding month.

Accordingly, to facilitate our compliance monitoring with the direction issued in April 2009 that all operators pass a minimum of 10% of their inter –operator traffic through certified Interconnect Exchange Licensees anywhere the Interconnect Exchange Licensees are located. The report of August, 2019 had been reviewed and findings as well as the recommendations had been forwarded for Management’s consideration.

  1. Report of Q3, 2019 Technical Audit of Operators’ Performance of the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme

Consistent with Commission’s mandate to monitor all significant activities relating to the performance of all Stakeholders in the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme and given the need to ensure a seamless porting process with strict adherence to the MNP Regulations 2014 and the Business Rules & Port Order Processes, a technical audit team carried out a comprehensive compliance audit exercise of the MNP Platform from 4th -6th September, 2019 in Lagos.

The objectives of the exercise included:

  1. To review the level of success NPC’s migration of the MNP Platform to its new technical partners, Porting Access Ltd,
  2. Conduct an in-depth review of planned/ unplanned technical faults that occurred within the period under review;
  3. Audit ‘Validation Responses (T2) & Deactivation Responses (T4)’ which have timelines of 2 hours and 1 hour respectively for the period under review;
  4. Review all port rejections by the Donor to ensure that these rejections are within the valid reasons for rejection in the MNP Business Rules;
  5. Review the current status of outstanding MNP fees owed to the NPC Administrator by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs);
  6. Review all Emergency Repatriations and ‘Return to Block Operator’ transactions for the past 5 months (i.e. October, 2018 – February, 2019).

In view of findings from the Audit exercise, the Commission directed Mobile Network Operators to carry out the following:

1)         That Mobile Network Operators should ensure the fields for inputting MSISDN in porting request forms are only 10 digits. In addition, there was a need for MNOs to educate and train front-end staff to ensure the correct donor network and MSISDN was specified before details were sent to NPC;

2)         That the MNP Industry Technical Working Group will discuss and impose a 45 day port restriction period for newly activated SIM cards;

3)         That Mobile Network Operators henceforth strictly comply with the conditions for ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ in line with Provisions of the MNP Business Rules, as well as the consequences for non-compliance;

4)         That Mobile Network Operators remove the power to carry out ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ from their front end agents to mitigate the emerging trend of abuse of laid down processes and procedures.