By Joseph Chukwu
March 16, 2023, 9:32 p.m.
The Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, and Chief Executive Officer, CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has revealed that the issue of data depletion is one of the most prevalent complaints received from telecom consumers.
He said most of the complaints come as a result of the consumer’s recent migration to 4G/LTE technology.
The EVC, represented by Muhammed Babajika, Director, Licensing & Authorisation, spoke at the 91st edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament, TCP, held in Abuja on Thursday.
The EVC noted that issues about 5G technology, opportunities and challenges were prominent in the 90th Edition of the TCP which was held in Lagos on 23rd June 2022.
He said the Commission, as a result of the 90th event, has increased its capacity to handle type approval of devices as a result of the introduction of 5G
Speaking on the issue of “Data Depletion: Discussions on Various Perspectives” which forms the theme of this year’s event, he noted that consumers have been experiencing depletion of their data either as a result of data usage or consumption, and are constantly informing the NCC of their experience.
He noted that the nation struggled with the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown, which necessitated an upsurge in the use of data-enabled devices for communication whether for school, work, or social interaction.
“This deliberation could therefore not have come at a more auspicious time, as Nigeria moves with the rest of the world towards 5G technology following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licenses to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, MAFAB Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited,” he said.
“It is therefore important that we completely appreciate and understand the issues surrounding data depletion, its usage and consumption in the era of 4G technology before we fully commence 5G usage.
It is against this backdrop that the Commission invited the key industry players today to dialogue on the theme “Data Depletion:
“Discussions on Various Perspectives” to understand the various perspectives to this prevalent issue, identify the possible causes, and brainstorm on the way forward.
“During this programme, we will listen to representatives of the Regulator, the Industry and the Consumer Advocacy Groups as they present the issue of data depletion as seen from their respective perspectives.
“As much as the Commission has an obligation to the telecom consumer, it also has an obligation to the Industry; a symbiotic relationship in which one party cannot survive without the other.
“The consumers are the basis for the operators’ business; if their interests are ignored, the operators’ investments would collapse, and there would be no industry for the Commission to regulate.
“It is thus expedient that we utilize opportunities presented by the Commission’s high-level outreach events such as this Parliament to genuinely exchange ideas on how to reduce the challenges militating against effective service provision to the barest minimum,” he said.