May 21 (Lagos) - Nigeriam Communications Commission yesterday fined the country's four main mobile operators, including MTN and Bharti Airtel, a total of N 1.17 billion ($7.38 million) on Sunday for poor-quality service.
The telecoms industry is hugely profitable in Nigeria, Africa's second-biggest economy and home to some 160 million people, but users complain that the service is poor, with frequent dropped calls and network interruptions.
"The penalties are as a result of the contravention of the provisions of the quality of service regulations by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as the operators failed to meet with the minimum standard of quality of service" during May and April, an NCC statement said.
There was no immediate reaction from the operators, although MTN has complained that sabotage of its equipment and shutdowns by state agencies over tax disputes in some parts of Nigeria are impeding improvements to its service.
MTN and Etisalat were fined N360 million each, Bharti Airtel was ordered to pay N 270 million and Globacom, a privately owned network of billionaire tycoon Mike Adenuga, got a N 180-million bill.
reporting for easykobo.com on Monday, May 21 2012 from Lagos, Nigeria