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MTN, Airtel, Globacom Face Sanction Over Data Migration

The Nigerian Communications Commission on Monday said it would sanction MTN, Airtel and Globacom for defying its directive on automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.

The commission made this known in its ‘2015 3Q Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report’, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

The NCC said it had continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go billing upon the depletion of their data bundle.

It stated, “Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCA 2003, the commission on the 3rd of August, 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directives. That where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, the service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/billing rate for automatic migration.

“That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go account upon the depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorisation of the subscriber via SMS.”

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The regulatory agency said that a follow-up compliance check was carried out, which revealed that Etisalat was the only operator to be in compliance with the directive.

It said that Etisalat notified its subscribers through SMS of the depletion of their data bundle accounts before the due dates.

The telecoms regulator also said that Etisalat sought the consent of the subscribers before automatically migrating them to the PAYG data service.

The NCC added, “Globacom is in compliance with Direction No. 1 as subscribers receive SMS detailing the tariff rates for auto-migration on depletion of their data bundles. However, Globacom failed to obtain express consent from the subscribers before migration to PAYG and, therefore, (was) in violation of Direction No. 2.

“MTN is in compliance with Direction No.1, but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended upon the depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber.

“Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions. Consequent upon the above, the commission has issued a notice of intention to sanction the concerned service providers.”

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