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NCC To Wield Its Axe On Network Operators For Auto Migration On Data Plan Without Consent

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By Chris Nomjov

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has it would sanction MTN, Airtel and Globacom for defying the directive on automatic migration to Pay-As-You-Go data bundle.

The commission made this known in its `2015 3Q Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report’, obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos

It would be recalled that the Commission (NCC) imposed N1,04 trillion sanction on MTN Nigeria earlier this month.

The Commission’s Director of Public Affairs, Tony Ojobo, said they acted “in the interest of the public” which has been suffering security challenges.

He said the fine was a result of violation of Section 20(1) of the Registration of Telephone Subscribers Regulation of 2011.

On the impending fine, the NCC said it had continued to receive complaints from subscribers on automatic migration of data bundle package to Pay-As-You-Go Billing on depletion of their data bundle.

”Consequently and pursuant to section 53(1) of the NCA 2003, the commission on 3rd August 2015 directed all mobile service operators to comply with the data bundle directions.

”That where a subscriber’s data bundle account is fully depleted before the due date, service providers should notify the subscriber via SMS, giving information regarding the tariff/ billing rate for automatic migration.

”That all service providers should henceforth stop auto-migration of subscriber’s data service to the Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) account upon depletion of the data bundle account, except with the express consent and authorisation of the subscriber via SMS,” it said.

The regulatory body said that a follow-up compliance check was carried out which revealed that Etisalat was in compliance with the directives.

It said that Etisalat through SMS notified its subscribers of depletion of their data bundle accounts, before due dates.

The telecoms regulator also said that Etisalat sought the consent of subscribers before automatically migrating them to the Pay-As-You-Go data service.

”Globacom is in compliance with Direction No. 1 as subscribers receive SMS detailing tariff rate for auto-migration on depletion of their data bundle.

”However, Globacom failed to obtain express consent from subscribers before migration to PAYG and therefore in violation of Direction No. 2.

”MTN is in compliance with Direction No.1 but failed to highlight the tariff rate for PAYG billing. In addition, data service is not suspended on depletion of the data bundle account even without an authorisation via an SMS from the subscriber.

”Airtel is not in compliance with the above directions.

”Consequent upon the above, the commission has issued a notice of intention to sanction the concerned service providers,” NCC said

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