The new NCC rules for Closed User Group (CUG) Services: All you need to know!
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has introduced a set of updated regulations for Closed User Group (CUG) services in the country’s telecommunications sector.
These changes, set to be effective from November 1, 2023, are aimed at simplifying the rules governing CUG services and their impact on users. This article will outline the key modifications and their implications for users.
Understanding NCC Closed User Group (CUG)
CUG services are supplementary offerings provided by mobile operators like MTN, Glo, and Airtel. They allow users to send and receive SMS and make calls within a specific group.
These services are particularly essential for various entities, including large corporations, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations, registered residential estate associations, trade associations, and Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Minimum and Maximum Subscribers: The revised rule s now stipulate that CUG offerings must have a minimum of three Mobile Station International Subscriber Directory Numbers (MSISDNs) or three users, with a maximum limit based on the category of the organization using it. For example, MSMEs can have up to 200 subscribers, while large corporate organizations can accommodate as many as 30,000 subscribers.
Pricing Clarity: NCC has introduced transparent pricing guidelines for CUG services. The minimum access fee for prepaid and postpaid CUG services will be N400, with a maximum of N5,000. CUG services are now limited to voice calls and SMS only, with a strict separation from data, Value-Added Services (VAS), or other ancillary services.
Call and SMS Rates: NCC has set minimum rates for calls and SMS within a CUG, both on-net and off-net, ensuring fair pricing for users.
Streamlined Registration: The NCC has simplified the registration process, requiring specific documents depending on the type of organization. This includes business registration, Tax Identification Number (TIN), contract agreements, and National Identification Numbers (NINs) for company representatives. Government agencies, trade associations, and resident estate associations have their own set of requirements.
Reporting and Compliance: Operators must provide quarterly reports to the NCC, detailing new CUG registrations, additional subscribers, and departures from existing CUGs. This enhances transparency and accountability in the provision of CUG services.
Effective Date and Flexibility: These revised rules become effective on November 1, 2023, and will remain in place until further reviewed by the NCC. The NCC reserves the right to adjust these conditions as necessary to adapt to changes in the telecom landscape.
In summary, the NCC’s updated regulations for CUG services bring clarity, simplicity, and transparency to the telecom industry.
These changes benefit both operators and subscribers, ensuring accessible and fairly priced CUG services while maintaining regulatory compliance.