The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC in partnership with telcos have started the unification of all operating shortcodes across the telecom sector in Nigeria.

What this means is that from May 17, 2023, recharging your mobile phones, checking your credit balance for either airtime or data and all that services will be done with a uniform number irrespective of the network service you are subscribed to.

This appears to be the second phase of telecom industry harmonisation after NCC introduced Mobile Number Portability in April 2013

Mobile number portability (MNP) enables mobile telephone users to switch from one mobile network carrier to another and still retain their original mobile telephone numbers.

In the new harmonised shortcodes, one unique code will perform shortcode services for subscribers of all telecom operators in the country.

The Association of Licensed Telecom Operators in Nigeria, ALTON, said its members were ready to implement the new policy because it reflected modern regulatory practices which obtains globally.

In a statement signed by the Chairman and Head Operations of the Association, Gbenga Adebayo and Gbolahan Awonuga, the association said: “ALTON has announced the commencement of harmonised shortcodes across all networks pursuant to a regulatory modernisation initiative by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

“The harmonisation of shortcodes is aimed at implementing a  streamlined process for common short codes across the industry, by making life easier for Nigerians through the memorisation of single codes, for various services across all networks as well as providing a  cohesive regulatory framework that is consistent with global best practices.

“Following the directive from NCC, the Association hereby informs the general public that during migration, which is to be concluded by 17th May 2023 old and new common codes, will run concurrently, after which the old codes will cease to operate”.

The proposed harmonised shortcodes include: Call Center/Help Desk – 300, Voice Mail Deposit – 301, Voice Mail Retrieval -302,  Borrow Services – 303, STOP Services – 304, Check Balance – 310, Credit Recharge – 311, Data Plan – 312.

Others are, Share Services – 321, Data Plan Balance – 323, Verification of SIM Registration/ NIN – SIM Linkage – 996 and Porting Services (MNP) – 2442

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