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  • Updated: February 28, 2024

MTN Nigeria faces network downtime amid regulatory deadline

MTN Nigeria faces network downtime amid regulatory deadline

MTN Nigeria users are having difficulty making calls and accessing data as the firm deals with a network outage. 

The telecom operator blames the outage on multiple fibre cuts and assures consumers that engineers are working tirelessly to restore normal services.

The outage coincides with the Nigerian Communications Commission's (NCC) deadline for telecom companies to block all lines not linked to National Identification Numbers (NINs).

In an official statement, MTN admits the widespread outage of phone and data services, blaming it on fibre cutting. The company apologises for the inconvenience and assures customers that efforts are ongoing to fully restore services.

"Dear Customer, you have been experiencing challenges connecting to the network due to a major service outage caused by multiple fibre cuts, affecting voice and data services. 

“Our engineers are working hard to resolve this with services gradually being restored in some areas. 

“We apologize for the inconvenience and ask for your patience & understanding as the team works to restore full service as soon as possible.” 

Fibre cuts have long plagued Nigeria's telecommunications business, with many occurring during construction projects or as a result of vandalism. NCC records show that the sector has spent a large amount of money in recent years to repair thousands of fibre cuts.

As the problem continues, regulatory action looms, potentially prohibiting all subscribers who have not linked their NINs. The NCC's rule requires full network banning for unlinked lines as well as those with filed but unverified NINs.

Affected subscribers must be validated before service is restored, with unconfirmed NINs having varied timescales depending on the number of associated lines.

The regulation emphasises the regulatory effort to improve telecom security and comply with identity verification measures.

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