COVID-19: How NCC mitigates impact on QoS delivery

By Myke Uzendu

THE Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Friday took critical regulatory measures to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Quality of Service (QoS), delivery by the network probiders to telecom consumers.

The NCC approved and encouraged resource sharing among network operators and secured Right of Passage (RoP), for all telecommunications companies and suppliers for easy movement during the lockdown.

These measures enabled the operators to service their base stations and ensured seamless services for telecom consumers who increasingly relied on the networks during the pandemic.

Also, the NCC, working with the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, is resolving the problem of high cost of Right of Way (RoW), with the Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF.

Through the engagement, the state governors have lent their support for a robust broadband infrastructure.

“The Commission is hopeful that with the reduction in RoW, which will automatically result in reduction in Capital Expenditure (CAPEX), by the network operators, telecom companies will sooner than later reciprocate the gesture by making their services more affordable to Nigerians,” Prof. Umar Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman of the NCC, said.

Danbatta said that regulatory efforts have also resulted in a presidential approval directing security agencies to protect Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and telecom facilities as critical national assets.

He said this has helped to safeguard telecom infrastructure for the greater role telecom has to play with the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.

He stated this at the first edition of the Virtual Telecom Consumer Parliament, V-TCP, hosted by the commission in Abuja on Friday, August 21, with the theme: “Impact of Covid-19 on Telecoms Service Delivery.”

The Telecom Consumer Parliament is NCC’s flagship forum for in-depth engagement with service providers to discuss issues of contemporary interest affecting consumers of telecom services in the country.

Citing an International Telecommunications Union (ITU), report, the EVC said with the pandemic, some telecom operators and platforms are reporting demand spike, especially in data usage and volume of calls, as high as 800 per cent since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Regardless of this, Danbatta said the Commission and the mobile network operators needed to play their roles in sustaining quality of service delivery and quality of experience by the consumers, who are critical stakeholders in the telecoms sector.

He said the NCC, in conjunction with the supervising Ministry developed e-platforms to handle all requests from the licensees to ensure that regulatory services are provided to sustain service delivery to subscribers.

But Danbatta has strongly charged the service providers to constantly upgrade and expand their network capacity in order to deliver top-notch QoS to their consumers.

Earlier, Adeleke Adewolu, executive commissioner, Stakeholder Management, showed the various Quality of Service, QoS, indicators for the second quarter of the year across the networks and how the consumer quality of experience by the over 192 million telecom consumers in the country.
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