The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has promised mobile telephone subscribers good quality service in 2013.
It also said that some of the problems experienced in the industry would not be saying that operators would offer pleasant customer experiences.
The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission, Dr. Eugene Juwah, at media engagement in Lagos said that the NCC believes that activities of the ending year are signs that 2013 will offer subscribers the best.
Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr. Reuben Muoka, who made remarks on behalf of the EVC listed activities for the new year to include the commencement of Number Portability, the conclusion of SIM card registration exercise, the auctioning of broadband spectrum licenses and the broadband project rollout in more cities and communities across the country.
According to him, the activities will have the potential to spur quality services in the industry saying that unfolding events in the industry for the New year will reduce the incidences of network failures experienced in the ending year.
Just as the year 2012 had sanctions that put operators on their toes, the NCC assured subscribes that there would be stiffer sanctions that are meant to urge operators to deliver on their promises to the subscribers.
Although he did not state the kind of sanctions, he noted that they will be for any operator that will not meet the standards set out by the NCC adding that the Commission in line with its regulatory guidelines has commenced another round of quality test on all networks using the commission’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) test standard.
Four major telecommunication operators, Glo, MTN, Etisalat and Airtel were sanctioned for poor quality service during the year, although they said they have invested more than N1 trillion in building and enhancing mobile networks in the country over the last ten years.
The operators said a further N400 billion will be deployed this year by them to enhance infrastructure across their networks.
The affected operators jointly reassured consumers of improved service quality within the next twelve months, while they called for the understanding of all on the current harsh environment in which they operate.
While MTN and Etisalat were fined N360m each, Glo and Airtel were fined N180m and N270m respectively.
The affected telcos however appealed to the Nigerian consumers over the poor quality of service, and pledged to improve their services drastically with the next 12 months by further investing heavily to support their network infrastructure.
They noted that the operating environment has been a major hindrance to achieving the pre-determined benchmark set by the regulator.
The networks operators described the operating environment as frustrating and volatile, urging the NCC and the people to encourage rather than condemn them.
They said that all the four operators are actively engaged in competing with each other on quality of service to win the loyalty of existing customers and attract new customers.
The operators further said that it was unfair to expect the same standards in Nigeria as obtained in Western countries, when national infrastructure are lagging behind in Nigeria.
They stated that in developed economy, operators would leverage on the existing national telecommunications infrastructure as well as constant power supply, noting that all these are non-existent in Nigeria, compelling the operators to make additional investment to fill the yawning gap.
The operators also said that the maintenance of GSM infrastructure in the country is similar to running a complete economy; complete with power generation, provision of security for staff and equipment, creating access roads in some instances; yet the same companies are subject to heavy and multiple taxation by all tiers of government.
Appealing for the patience and understanding of the regulator, subscribers and other stakeholders in the industry, the operators asserted that they are also concerned about the failures to meet customer expectations on the quality of service as such affects our their bottom line.
The operators also urged the regulator to allow them to compensate the subscribers of their services directly for any poor quality of service rather than paying fine to the NCC.