Danbatta urges telecom service providers to address subscribers’ data depletion problem

The Executive Vice Chairman of, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Umar Danbatta, has urged telecom service providers to address 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.

He lamented that 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.

Meanwhile, NCC has increased its capacity to handle type approval of devices as a result of the introduction of 5G-enabled devices.

Speaking at the 91st edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament (TCP), yesterday in Abuja, Danbatta said that 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.

He added that 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.

The EVC noted that Mobile Network Operators all over the world have had to face challenges occasioned by emerging technologies particularly during the pandemic when employees and students alike were forced to operate from home during the lockdown, which stretched the existing infrastructure to its limits.

Danbatta observed that the interest of the telecom consumer is of paramount importance and as the telecom regulator, NCC has the responsibility of ensuring that the consumer’s voice is heard and that the relevant authorities address their complaints.

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He said: “This deliberation could therefore not have come at a more auspicious time as Nigeria moves with the rest of the world towards 5G technology following the issuance of 3.5GHz spectrum licenses to MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, MAFAB Communications Limited and Airtel Networks Limited.

“It is pertinent to know that whereas 4G offers better download speeds, higher bandwidth and voice quality than 3G technology, 5G technology provides the additional benefits of ultra-high-speed data, low latency and higher bandwidth over 4G technology.

“It is therefore important that we completely appreciate and understand the issues surrounding data depletion, its usage and consumption in the era of 4G technology before we fully commence 5G usage.”

Danbatta added it was against this backdrop that the Commission invited the key industry players today to dialogue on the theme “Data Depletion: Discussions on Various Perspectives”, with a view to understanding the various perspectives of this prevalent issue, identifying the possible causes and brainstorm on the way forward.

“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 said.

In his remarks, the Head of, the Consumer Affairs Bureau in the Commission, Ayanbanji Ojo, stated that NCC has intensified efforts to educate telecom consumers on the benefits of 5G, particularly as regards the higher speed of data.

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Ojo noted that the Consumer Affairs Bureau was mandated by the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 to protect, inform and educate telecom consumers and in line with this mandate, the Commission designed the TCP as a forum for the active exchange of ideas on how to mitigate salient issues affecting the consumers of telecom services in the country.


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