The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently organised the 91st edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP) to address the problem of data depletion, with the theme “Data Depletion: Discussion on the Various Perspectives”.
The TCP, which aims to enhance customer satisfaction, brought together telecom operators and consumers to understand the various perspectives of the problem and identify possible causes, brainstorm solutions and chart the way forward.
During the event, the NCC executive vice chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta –represented by the NCC director of licensing and authorisation, Muhammed Babajika – acknowledged that the issue of data depletion had become one of the most prevalent complaints received from telecom consumers since the migration to 4G/LTE technology. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the global explosion of new technologies, which opened up an array of services, dynamic business models and new opportunities and markets globally.
“We are here today to deliberate on the issue of data depletion, which has become one of the most prevalent complaints received from the telecom consumers in the wake of their recent migration to 4G/LTE technology. Consumers have been experiencing depletion of their data either as a result of data usage or consumption, and are constantly informing the commission of their experience through our various complaints channels.
“The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the global explosion of new technologies which opened up an array of services, dynamic business models and new opportunities and markets globally.
“The Nigerian telecom industry was not left out, going by the documented upsurge in the use of computers, smartphones, smartwatches, and other technology-dependent devices which have given consumers access to multi-functional comfort and utility. Technology has eased interaction for a majority of the populace using social and instant messaging applications.
“No doubt, the underlying technology for these services is the internet, which drives connectivity. It is within the context of the subscription and usage of the internet that consumers are experiencing what they refer to as abnormal depletion of their data, which gives rise to the reason we are here today,” he stated.
The event featured paper presentations from the regulatory, industry, and consumer perspective on data depletion, a panel discussion, and the presentation of resolutions. Stakeholders from Airtel, Glo, 9mobile, MTN, Ntel, MAFAB, ALTON, and Spectranet, amongst others, participated.
According to the head of the commission’s consumer affairs bureau, Ayanbanji Ojo, at the beginning the TCP was a quarterly engagement that included many invited consumers. However, it has been redesigned twice a year and is limited to the telecoms regulator and service providers, consumer advocacy groups, and other relevant stakeholders.
He added that the consumer affairs bureau of the commission has maintained a direct interface with telecom consumers through its various communication channels. The TCP has deepened engagements for the benefit of telecom consumers.