Nigerian cellcos subject to fresh ban

14 Feb 2008

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has imposed a blanket ban on all four GSM cellcos preventing them from putting out adverts to attract new customers. The move follows ongoing complaints about network quality from customers and allegations that the networks are adding customers faster than the network expansion can cope with them. The local marketing industry is also expected to be hit by the NCC’s ban, as it earns a high proportion of its income from the four cellcos MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Celtel Nigeria and M-Tel. It is not clear if ongoing promotions, for instance Globacom’s raffle of 500 cars, will also have to be suspended. A similar ban was imposed in July 2007 and was subsequently breached by Globacom, resulting in an NGN5 million (USD39,900) fine. In December that year, MTN was threatened with the revocation of its licence by the House of Representatives.

NCC’s Head of Public Affairs Dave Imoko said in a statement that new service testing equipment recently acquired by the regulator has shown that all GSM operators are allegedly performing short of the minimum threshold set. ‘[They] were grossly in default on several key performance indicators for ascertaining quality of service,’ he said, adding that following these results, a fresh ban has been imposed barring GSM operators from sales promotions that may add more subscribers to their congested networks.

Nigeria,MTN Nigeria, Airtel Nigeria, Globacom (Glo Nigeria), M-Tel (Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications),


Subscribe to CommsUpdate to get the day’s top telecom headlines delivered to your email.

Subscribe to CommsUpdate


Have feedback, corrections, or story ideas? Send them to

Browse Past Issues


Filter CommsUpdate by the following categories or use the search.


Visit our help page information on performing advanced searches, including how to restrict the results by country or company.


CommsUpdate is an outstanding advertising venue for companies seeking to reach:

  • International carriers
  • Wholesale service providers
  • Equipment and software vendors
  • Telecom investors
  • Regulators

Learn more about advertising on CommsUpdate.