NCC advises on national roaming service, NIN-SIM exercise

By Adeyemi Adepetun |   16 April 2021   |   3:00 am  

Nigerian Communications Commission

The Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC) has released guidelines prescribing a regulatory framework for the implementation of national roaming services.
   
NCC explained that the national roaming services shall be provided within the geographical boundaries of Nigeria. 
  
“These guidelines are to be read in conjunction with the act, the collocation guidelines, interconnection regulations, quality of service regulations, competition practices regulations, other subsidiary legislations that may be issued by the Commission from time to time and relevant licence conditions,” it stated.
   
National roaming allows a subscriber to roam freely on another network distinct from their main network, especially in areas where there are no networks. 
   
It is a way of saying your SIM card has no home network but can use any.
    
The guidelines, which were released yesterday by the Commission, apply only to holders of licences validly issued. The condition in the document makes the holder eligible to enter into a national roaming service agreement.
   
According to NCC, the national roaming services shall be provided within the geographical boundaries of Nigeria. 
    
According to the legal provision as stated in Part 11 of the guidelines, duly authorised service providers shall request and negotiate national roaming agreements with each other on bilateral and non-discriminatory terms.
  
“A Roaming Provider shall notify the Roaming Seeker of its approval or rejection of the Roaming Request in line with the procedure stated under Sub-paragraph (5) and (6) below. Where the Roaming Seeker receives no response from the Roaming Provider within 15 days of its request, the Roaming Seeker shall immediately notify the Commission in writing, and the Commission shall take necessary steps to ensure the Roaming Provider responds to the Roaming Request,” it stated.
  
On considerations for national roaming agreements, the document stated: “The charges, terms, and conditions for national roaming services shall be through bilateral negotiations and in line with the provisions of the guidelines.
  
“National roaming agreements shall take into consideration legal aspects of authentication, authorisation and billing of the visiting or roaming subscriber so as not to compromise minimal safety standards such as location update procedures, financial security or warranty procedures in line with GSMA reference documents on roaming services as applicable to national roaming.

“The guidelines state that national roaming services shall not exceed three years from the date of execution of the National Roaming Agreement. The Commission reserves the right to permit parties to renew the National Roaming Agreement for another three years. Any further extension must be subject to the approval of the Commission,” it stated.
   
MEANWHILE, the NCC has taken advantage of the opportunity of this year’s edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair to enlighten telecoms consumers on their rights and privileges within the telecommunications sector.
   
The Commission also urged Nigerians to take the NIN-SIM registration seriously. 

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