CEM REPORT, ICT | Telecommunication service will continue to run optimally before, during or after the 2023 general elections.
According to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), all ICT services including online transfer facilities of banks will continue to work optimally.
In a statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka, the NCC debunked the widespread rumours circulating on social media that network services especially bank transfers will cease top prevent vote buying.
The commission described the misinformation as malicious and subversive intending to cause chaos.
The telecom regulator assured telecoms subscribers and bank customers there will be no shutdown of telecoms service. Part of the statement said:
“The attention of the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been drawn to fraudulent and misleading information circulating in some social media platforms, insinuating there is a planned shutdown of all telecom networks and relevant ICT Units, including online transfer facilities of the banks, with effect from today, February 23, 2023.
“The Nigerian public, consumers of telecommunications services, and all bank customers are advised to ignore these or similar messages that insinuate deliberate network shutdown or disruption of services in the Nigerian telecom network. These malicious and subversive messages originated and are being circulated by fraudsters and unscrupulous elements in society with the intent to cause chaos and panic among the populace.
“The Commission has received unequivocal assurances from all the service providers to the effect that all the network services are currently in optimal performance, and will not witness any deliberate shutdown or disruptions, especially at this very crucial period of general elections in the country.”
In another report, MTN Nigeria informed its customers that there will be a network freeze during the forthcoming general elections.
MTN specifically said that its planned network freeze during the presidential election this weekend would start on the 24th of February 2023, and end on March 1st, 2023. The second freeze is scheduled to start on the 10th of March and end on the 15th of March.
Reacting to the concerns of Nigerians who expressed fears of outage throughout the network freeze, MTN buttressed the point that it is a common practice in telecoms to keep the network stable.
“About the network freeze…we don’t implement changes on our Network during critical times to minimize the chance of an outage. Keeping the network as it is, is a common practice in telecoms referred to as a Network Freeze.”
Network freeze is a common practice in the telecoms industry intended to minimize the chances of network outage during a particular time.
It is a period where the network is expected to be stable as there will be no changes on the network. The operators will only interfere when there is an emergency.
During a network freeze, there will be no core works, upgrades, or maintenance as these may cause changes on the network and disrupt service. The aim is to restrict non-essential activities on the network for a critical period like the elections.