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NCC revises USSD pricing, says 20 seconds costs N1.63

The Nigerian Communications Commission has revised the Unstructured Supplementary Service Data pricing to allow mobile network operators and financial institutions negotiate mutually beneficial rates.

The Executive Vice Chairman, NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the commission amended the determination earlier issued in July 2019 by removing the price floor and the cap.

According to him, each USSD session is 20 seconds and costs N1.63 per session on the MNO network.

He said the cost should form the basis of negotiations between MNOs and other related service providers using USSD channels.

The amendment was carried out after a dispute between MNOs and financial institutions on the applicable charges for USSD services and the method of billing.

The NCC, in the amended determination which took effect from August 1, said that if MNOs and financial service providers were unable to agree on rates, it would intervene and the commission’s decision would be final and binding.

The telecoms regulators said refusal to pay for services provided or to negotiate in good faith would lead to discontinuation of provision of the service, the possible withdrawal of the USSD short code and/ or imposition of regulatory sanctions.


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