Telecoms operators blame poor services on 20 unapproved handsets
Mobile phones penetration hits 94 per cent
A major factor responsible for poor quality of telephony services is the import and use of unapproved mobile phones in the country, according to the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
The body disclosed that there are over 20 unapproved handsets in the country.Consequently, ATCON, the body, which represents telecommunications and Information Technology (IT) firms in the country, has urged urgent measures to curb this menace.
ATCON President Olusola Teniola, at a reception for the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, in Lagos at the weekend, said government must stop dumping of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) products in Nigeria.
Teniola said investigations had revealed that over 20 mobile phone brands in the country are not NCC type-approved and contribute significantly to the persistent poor quality of service (QoS).
Though he was silent about the particular set of mobile phone brands, Teniola said “we plead with government to put in place anti-counterfeiting measures such as the facilitation of integrated web portal-based International Mobile Equipment Identity to International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMEI-IMSI) collection to stem the menace of sub-standard or unrecognised mobile phones.
He also said the menace leads to loss of revenue to government, business by Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and jobs as well.The ATCON President added that 10 per cent of fake mobile phones products of some of the popular mobile phone brands are circulating in Nigeria.
In response, Danbatta stated that the commission has doubled its efforts on equipment-type approval with the aim of ensuring genuine and standardised products are imported or introduced in the Nigerian market.
According to Danbatta, NCC’s quest to ensure equipment type approval will definitely aid innovation and protection of genuine products in the market.
Besides, the EVC, who disclosed that there are other non-technical factors that affect service quality, said that the commission had set up a task force on QoS to identify all issues militating against service quality in the country. He said the report of the committee was already being implemented for the resolution of some urgent issues militating against the sector’s productivity.
Already, the penetration of mobile phones remains in the upward swing with about 94 per cent in Nigeria.Statistics from Africa Infotech Consulting (AIC) showed that smartphone penetration has gained about 30 per cent with features phones having 70 per cent.