Subscribers of two of the major network operators in Nigeria, Globacom and 9mobile, recorded high dropped calls rate in more than 10 states in June 2018.
In the latest statistics on quality of service obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission, Globacom subscribers recorded high dropped call rates in 17 states out of the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory in June.
The states are Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Borno, Cross River, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Kebbi, Niger, Plateau, Taraba, Yobe, Zamfara, and Sokoto.
The data also showed that there were high dropped call rates on 9mobile Global System for Mobile lines in 12 states in the month under review. The states are Bayelsa, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Katsina, Kebbi, Kwara, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Sokoto, and Yobe.
However, for both networks, the national performance was within the performance threshold of less than one per cent.
The NCC described a dropped call as a call that is prematurely terminated before being released normally by either the caller or the called party and has a performance threshold of less than or equal to one per cent.
Therefore, in situations where the subscribers recorded drop calls, the Dropped Call Rate was above one per cent.
Historical review of the monthly quality of service statistics showed that Globacom and 9mobile had intermittently recorded dropped calls in the past 12 months since July 2017.
For instance, the data showed that users of Globacom network recorded dropped calls intermittently for 10 months out of 12 months in Adamawa; five months in Bayelsa and 10 months in Niger State.
In the same vein, findings showed that subscribers on the 9mobile network registered dropped calls intermittently for 11 months in Osun State; nine months in Ekiti State; and 12 months in Sokoto State.
This trend has been a cause for concern for the Nigerian telecoms regulator, which was compelled to inaugurate a Joint Investigative Committee in collaboration with the Consumer Protection Council to investigate the increasing call drop and other consumer issues in the industry.
The committee was charged to investigate service quality and other issues such as call masking, unsolicited subscriptions, difficulty with unsubscribing to billed value-added services, and transparency in billing with respect to clarity, data rollover, disclosures about real consumption, deductions for value-added services and other key telecommunications services.
Speaking at the inauguration of the JIC, the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, NCC, Mr Sunday Dare, stated that the agencies agreed to form a committee in response to the letters received from the Presidency and National Assembly on “the increasing rate of dropped calls and other unwholesome practices by telecommunication network operators in Nigeria that have robbed Nigerians of their hard-earned billions of naira.”
According to the two regulatory bodies, the expected outcomes of the investigation are better services, more transparent charges and increased customer service responsiveness by telecommunications operators.
The Director, Consumer Affairs Bureau, NCC, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, was named as the head of the committee, which was given a duration of one month to complete its assignment.