The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has allegedly fined three of the country’s four largest mobile operators a combined NGN647.5 million (USD3.9 million) for failing to meet quality of service standards last month. Citing a source at the Ministry of Communications Technology, local newspaper This Day reports that Globacom has been sanctioned NGN277.5 million, while South African-owned MTN Nigeria and India’s Airtel Nigeria were each fined NGN185 million. The trio are expected to pay the sanctions by 7 March 2014; failure to do so attracts a further penalty of NGN2.5 million per day for as long as the contravention persists. The report adds that in addition to the fines, between 1 March and 31 March Globacom, MTN and Airtel are banned from: selling new SIM cards; churning or deleting inactive SIMs from their networks; supplying new SIM cards from their warehouses to dealers or third parties; and offering promotions until the key performance indicators are satisfactorily met.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that MTN is Nigeria’s largest mobile operator by subscribers, with a customer base of 55.6 million at the end of September 2013 (a market share of 45.8%), followed by Globacom with 24.1 million (19.9%) and Bharti Airtel-owned Airtel with 22.7 million (18.7%). A fourth GSM operator, Etisalat Nigeria, had 15.8 million subscribers at the same date, giving it a 13.0% share of the mobile market.