Mobile network operators recorded positive growth despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic according to the executive commissioner, stakeholder management, NCC, Adeleke Adewolu, who disclosed this in a presentation delivered during the first virtual Telecoms Consumer Parliament. According to him, the ICT sector contributed 17.83 per cent to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2020. This was better than the previous quarter and the same quarter last year.

Professor Umar Garba Damabatta, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO, Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC)

The network operators however experienced 9,077 cases of service outages on their networks in the second quarter of the year, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)spokesperson, Ikechukwu Adinde, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.

 The statement said this resulted in unexpected disruptions to operators’ network quality of service (QoS) delivery and intermittent quality of experience (QoE) by the consumers.

Of the 9,077 service outages recorded by the operators, 3,585 were caused by incidences of denial of access to telecoms sites for maintenance.

While 4,972 were triggered by incidences of fibre cuts from construction activities and vandalism, 520 cases were as a result of incidences of generator and battery theft at sites.

“Mr Adewolu, however, noted that in a proactive step to mitigate the challenges, the commission had swiftly responded by taking some major decisions to mitigate any unforeseen challenges that may cause serious disruptions in service delivery to the consumers throughout the period of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

“The Commission approved resource sharing by operators throughout the period of COVID-19 pandemic.”

These include fibre optic cables and other resources, in the event of cable cuts and other unforeseen developments.

“We also ensured that the service providers meet the needs of their teeming consumers by securing Right of Passage (RoP) for all telecommunications officials and staff for easy movement during the lockdown. This was to ensure ease of movement to service base stations and other telecom facilities and equipment.”

Mr Adewolu advised all stakeholders to join hands with the commission in enlightening all citizens on the need to protect the telecom infrastructure in their domain without which quality of service delivery will be hampered.

“He noted the numerous complaints received from consumers by the commission since the outbreak of the pandemic were indicative of the widening gap between the consumer QoS and the QoE provided by the service providers, which, according to him, needed to be addressed.”

He charged operators on the need to increase and improve their network capacity following the unprecedented increase in consumer demand.

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