NCC directs telcos to implement harmonised short codes

The Nigerian Communication Commission has issued harmonised shortcodes for the country's mobile networks.

Users of MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile will be able to recharge, check account balances, and access other services using the same shortcodes as before.

300 is the harmonised code for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks; 301 is for voice Mail Deposit; 302 is for Voice Mail Retrieval; 303 is for Borrow Services; 305 is for STOP Service; 310 is for Check Balance; and 311 is for Credit Recharge.

In addition, the common network code for Data Plan is now 312. 321 is for Share Services, while 323 is for Data Plan Balance, in accordance with the new direction. 996 is now the code for Verification of Subscriber Identity Module Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage.

The code 2442 is kept for managing Do-Not-Disturb unsolicited messaging complaints, while the common code 3232 is kept for Porting Services, also known as Mobile Number Portability.

In the meantime, the NCC has directed mobile network operators to begin implementing the approved harmonised codes by May 17, 2023.

According to Reuben Muoka, the NCC's Director of Public Affairs, the move is intended to achieve uniformity in common short codes across networks.

"This means that the code for checking airtime balance is the same across all mobile networks for the same function, regardless of the network a consumer uses," the statement said in part.

With the new codes, telecom customers using the country's over 226 million active mobile lines can now use the same codes to access services across networks."

"The old and new harmonised shortcodes will run concurrently up until May 17, 2023, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes," the company added. The NCC has set aside the time between now and May 17, 2023 to allow telecom customers to become acquainted with the new codes for various services.

"The initiative, which is in line with NCC's regulatory modernisation programme, is essential to make life much easier for telecom consumers, as it is now easier for Nigerians to memorize single codes for various services across all mobile networks they may be using, thereby improving consumer quality of experience.

"In addition, the new policy will allow licensees in the telecoms sector's Value-Added Services segment to use freed-up/old codes for other services, as well as enhance the cohesive regulatory framework in line with world-class practices."

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