NCC gives network providers right to set up call roaming cost

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has urged the network providers in the country to set up cost for call roaming. It said cost will include last mile connection, interfaces, and software upgrade except where otherwise agreed by parties.

Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of NCC, in document titled ‘Guidelines on National Roaming,’ said additional capital expenditure and operating expenses associated with roaming will form part of the negotiated roaming cost.

“Parties shall ensure that adequate security measures are deployed to protect their respective networks. Roaming partners shall agree mutually on a process to mitigate against fraud associated with Roaming. However, fraud enabled by flaws in other network business areas shall be the responsibility of the concerned network.

“Roaming partners shall agree not to benefit from any fraudulent incident. Any settlement between the parties will be at cost level computation, where fraud is established.”

According to Danbatta, each operator shall set its Roaming tariff subject to prior approval of the commission. He noted that the operators should consider the fact that the calling party is the one bearing the cost. He said tariff will take into consideration the need to ensure roamers enjoy seamless connectivity at a reasonable cost.

“The Commission may set a price cap for Roaming charges based on industry data until a detailed cost study is carried out. The Visited Network shall not offer any incentive such as free data, free or lower tariff calls to the Roamer.

“Each operator shall seek and obtain prior written approval of the Commission before setting Roaming charges for its subscribers. In determining the retail Roaming charge for voice calls, the current interconnect charges shall serve as the bottom line (base).

“In determining the Roaming charge for data services, parties shall mutually agree on tariff sharing, taking into consideration the Home Roaming principle,” he said.

Danbatta said the visited network should make every effort to make sure that the roamer enjoys the same level of availability as its own customers and maintain such level as contained under the Quality of Service Regulations developed by the Commission.

“The Visited Network shall offer the same quality of service to the Roamer on the agreed Roaming Technology. Parties shall ensure that all quality of service requirements under the Quality of Service Regulations and other relevant regulations and guidelines developed by the Commission are met.

“The Visited Network shall provide network Key Performance Indicators for all clusters under the roaming arrangement. A party that defaults in complying with quality of service requirements under the Quality of Service Regulations shall be responsible for any infraction traced to its network. Service support for Roamers (i.e. resolution of complaints by subscribers) shall be the responsibility of the Home Network. The Home Network shall reserve not more than 25% of spare capacity for its short term or emergency need.”

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