‘Why telecommunications services may not improve again’

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Poor telephony services, occasioned by rise in dropped calls, undelivered text messages, among others, may remain for a while. This is because of the increasing rate of vandalism, theft of telecoms facilities, including generating sets, diesel, among others.

These challenges have been identified to be on the rise in the country, and as such hindering operators’ move to ensure smooth and seamless telecoms services.
Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Nigeria, Emeka Opara, who spoke with journalists in Lagos, yesterday, said the Federal Government must urgently deal with the menace of vandalism, insecurity and insurgency, otherwise the current spate of dropped calls being experienced by some telecommunications consumers would continue.

Oparah noted that the declaration of telecoms infrastructure as critical national infrastructure by the government would go a long way in helping to safeguard telecoms infrastructure as Airtel alone recorded 1,022 cases of fibre cuts between July 2019 and February 11, 2020.

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According to him, 405 cases of the fibre cut were as a result of road rehabilitation activities by construction workers while 617 cases were due to vandalism.
Oparah, therefore, pleaded that the government should come to the aid of telecoms operators as these activities result in dropped calls, poor network quality, network congestion and poor user experience for telecommunications subscribers across the country.

He also urged the federal and state governments to hasten the approval process for Right of Way (RoW) for fibre deployment as well as quicken the Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) approval process, noting that these actions would help solve the problem of network congestion and network failure.

Also, the Nigerian Communications Commission Director, Technical Services, Bako Wakil, said certainly the challenges might persist.Wakil said in Nigeria, network infrastructure are being vandalised and this has resulted into high rates of drop calls on the network.He said that the NCC had been working with the National Assembly, other ministries and security agencies to ensure that the bill at the assembly is passed into law and offenders prosecuted.

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According to him, NCC will ensure services are improved by ensuring that the environment becomes conducive.The Vice President, Network Operations, Airtel Nigeria, Dr. Adedoyin Adeola, lamented that telecoms installations across the country are repeatedly vandalised, stolen, bombed and destroyed with reckless abandon, creating myriad of problems for the network operators as well as the telecommunications consumers.


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