The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has granted telco, Globacom, an additional 21-day grace period to resolve and settle outstanding interconnect fees owed to MTN, which has saved the telco from a phased disconnection.
The NCC announced the extension in a press statement revealing that both MTN and Globacom, popularly known as Glo, “have now reached an agreement to resolve all outstanding issues between them.” The release also added that the NCC “expects MTN and Glo to resolve all outstanding issues within the 21 days.”
On 8th January, the NCC issued a disconnection notice to Glo, granting MTN the authority to disconnect Glo subscribers due to accumulated unpaid interconnect fees. It has been reported that Glo owes approximately ₦6 billion ($6.7 million) to MTN, with the standard interconnect fee for local calls in Nigeria set at ₦4.30k per minute.
A phased disconnection would have affected Glo’s 61.39 million subscribers, rendering them unable to call MTN users. However, MTN users would still have been able to reach Glo users during this period.
Globacom has consistently denied owing any outstanding fees to MTN, with an unnamed Glo official quoted by the Daily Trust stating, “we do not owe MTN any interconnect charges.” The dispute over interconnect fees dates back over 15 years, and this is not the first time MTN has threatened to disconnect Glo.
In 2019, MTN carried out a five-day disconnection of Globacom from its network, prompting Glo to settle approximately ₦2.6 billion in owed interconnect fees out of a total ₦4.4 billion. During the same period, Airtel also issued a similar threat to disconnect Glo.