Nigeria: MTN, 9mobile Get Approval for National Roaming Service

25 October 2020

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted approval for two mobile network operators (MNOs) to carry out trial on National Roaming Service for a period of three months, commencing from August 1, 2020, and to end by October 31, 2020.

The two telecoms companies are Mobile Telecommunication Network (MTN) Nigeria and the Emerging Markets Telecommunication Service Limited (EMTS), trading as 9Mobile in Nigeria, a statement from NCC's Director of Public Affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde said on Sunday.

With this approval, EMTS and MTN are expected to configure their networks to begin test and simulation for customer experience, the statement said.

The trial approval covers a few local governments, designated as the National Roaming geographic area, in Ondo State.

The Roaming Service enables a mobile subscriber to automatically make and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services when traveling outside a particular network geographical area by utilising the network coverage of other networks with roaming arrangements to access service.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, the primary objective of the National Roaming Service trial is to encourage network resource sharing among operators.

He said this will lead to operational expenditure (OPEX) optimisation and capital expenditure (CAPEX) efficiencies leading to freeing up of resources to expand mobile network coverage to unserved and underserved communities across the country, which will lead to improved Quality of Service (QoS) delivery to subscribers.

"The successful implementation of the trial will enable EMTS subscribers to access MTN network service within the National Roaming trial geographical area without the need for an MTN Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) card," Danbatta said.

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