NCC approves harmonised shortcodes, directs implementation
National TeleCom

NCC approves harmonised shortcodes, directs implementation

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has directed mobile network operators (MNOs) to begin implementation of approved harmonised shortcodes (HSC) to provide certain services to telecom consumers.

Reuben Muoka, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs announced the directive in a statement mailed to The NewsZenith on Monday.

The directive is in line with the commission’s consumer-centric approach to telecoms regulation.

NCC had set a deadline of May 17, for all mobile networks to fully migrate from hitherto diverse shortcodes to harmonised codes.

“The use of harmonised shortcodes is aimed at achieving uniformity in common shortcodes across networks.

“This means the code for checking airtime balance is same across all mobile networks, irrespective of network a consumer uses.

“With the new codes, telecom consumers can now use the same codes to access services across networks,” Muoka stated.

The NewsZenith reports that there are currently over 226 million active mobile lines in the country.

Consequently, under the new harmonised shortcodes regime, NCC has approved 13 common short codes.

They include the following codes: 300 as the harmonised code for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks and 301 for voice Mail Deposit.

The 302 is for Voice Mail Retrieval, 303 for Borrow Services and  305 for STOP Service.

While 310 is for Check Balance, 311 is for Credit Recharge.

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Similarly, the common code for Data Plan across networks is now 312.

In line with the new direction, 321 is for Share Services, while 323 is for Data Plan Balance.

The code 996 is now for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage.

The Commission retained two codes as previously in use.

They are 2442 for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management and 3232 for Porting Services, otherwise called Mobile Number Portability.

“The old and new harmonised shortcodes will run concurrently up until May 17, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to the new codes.

“The period between now and May 17, is provided by the NCC to enable telecom consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services.”

The initiative, which is in line with NCC’s regulatory modernisation programme, is to make life easier for telecom consumers.

“It is now easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for services across all mobile networks they may be using.

“This will, therefore, improve consumer quality of experience.

In addition, the new policy will provide the opportunity for licensees in the Value-Added Services (VAS) segment to be able to use freed-up/old codes for other services.

It will also enhance a cohesive regulatory framework in keeping with world-class practices, the commission stated.



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