February 28, 2024

Telecom networks go bonkers as MTN suffers multiple fibre cuts in Lagos

Telcos threaten telecom blackout in nine states

Telecom mast

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

Telecom subscribers in the country are going through harrowing times at the moment as operators’ networks are failing spectacularly.

Since the yuletide, subscribers have had to struggle to complete calls when they manage to achieve connection. Businesses that largely depend on telecom networks have also suffered massively as voice calls and data services have recorded annoying glitches.

This is compounded by a directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC instructing major telecommunications operators in Nigeria, such as MTN, Airtel, and Globacom and 9Mobile, to implement comprehensive network barring all phone lines without link to the National Identification Numbers, NIN by yesterday, February 28, 2024.

The directive and compliance by operators witnessed massive disconnection of subscribers and resulted in a large crowd of frustrated telecoms subscribers across the nation thronging the offices of the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC and that of telecoms operators nationwide to either register for National Identification Number, NIN, or revalidate their SIM-NIN linkage.

Some of the major operators who spoke to Vanguard in confidence, confirmed they commenced disconnection of all unregistered SIM cards as well SIM cards not properly registered and linked to NIN, based on the NCC directive.

Recall that the Chairman of the umbrella body of the operators, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, Engr Gbenga Adebayo, had earlier declared that since the directive for total disconnection of all unregistered and improperly registered SIM cards, including those not linked to NIN, came from the NCC, his members will obey the directive.

However, some subscribers complained bitterly that even the lines they had initially registered and linked to the NIN, were surprisingly disconnected, meaning that something somehow was wrong with the networks.

Meanwhile, MTN Nigeria, on Wednesday confessed that the network challenges experienced by its subscribers in the past few days was not necessarily as a result of the disconnection, but primarily due to multiple fibre cuts its network recorded majorly in Lagos and other parts of the country.

It however promised the issue will soon be resolved as its engineers were working tirelessly to get it fixed.

According to the External Communications Manager of the telco, Mr Funso Aina, “We know our customers 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 with services gradually being restored in some areas.

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