Nigerian Operators Banned from Running SMS Competitions

Nigerian telecom regulator NCC has put a ban on operators running text promotions and lotteries, which gave away free minutes to winners, in the country.

The NCC has cited anti-competitive practices by operators as one of the reasons for the ban, as well as the deterioration in the quality of mobile services they cause, as subscribers try to use up their free minutes in a short period of time and the networks become congested – something which has already led to a series of fines.

The ban, the first of its kind in African, effects various operators including MTN, Airtel, and Etisalat – all of which operate elsewhere in Africa, raising the question of whether this will have a knock-on effect across the continent.

Etisalat has contested the move, saying its network quality remained intact and firm during these competition – but, at least for now, the NCCs decision remains final.