“No More *556#”: MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9Mobile Announce Single Codes for Data, Airtime, 11 Other Telecom Services
- Nigeria’s major telecom companies (MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile) are set to implement a unified set of shortcodes for all telecom services
- The move is directed by the NCC to make it easier for Nigerians to remember a single code for different services across all networks
- All old codes for recharging, data subscription, and balance checking will no longer work
Nigeria’s major telecommunications companies, including MTN, Airtel, Glo, and 9mobile, will implement a harmonised set of shortcodes for all telecommunications services from May 17, 2023.
The move, directed by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), means all mobile network operators will now use the same code for services.
This will make it easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for various services across all mobile networks.
Why the new shortcodes are important
Before the harmonisation, each telecom operator had its unique code for checking balances, recharging, borrowing credit, etc.
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This required subscribers with multiple lines to memorise different codes for the respective operators.
However, with the harmonised codes, all telcos will now use the same code to carry out credit recharges, balance checks, and other telecom services.
What happened to the old codes for each network
According to a report from May 17, 2023, all old codes used to recharge, subscribe for data, and check balance, among others, will cease functioning.
The NCC has therefore asked telecom consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services.
Why the new shortcodes
The harmonisation of shortcodes is part of the NCC’s regulatory modernisation program, which is expected to improve telecom consumers’ quality of experience (QoE).
List of shortcodes to be used for all networks
Here are the new codes as approved by the NCC
- 300 is the code for Call Centre/Help Desk on all mobile networks
- 301 for voice Mail Deposit
- 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval
- 303 for Borrow Services
- 305 for STOP Service;
- 310 for Check Balance
- 3111 is for credit recharge.
- 312 is for Data Plan
- 321 is for Share services.
- 323 is for Data Plan Balance
- 996 is now for verification of subscriber identity module (SIM) registration or NIN-SIM linkage.
- 2442 is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management.
- 3232 is also retained for porting services, otherwise called mobile number portability.
CBN plans to turn phones, watches into PoS, ATMs
Meanwhile, in another report, CBN is preparing to issue guidelines to promote the safe and efficient use of contactless payments in Nigeria.
Guidelines cover technical and operational requirements, security measures, and standards for issuing and accepting contactless payment.
The move is part of the CBN’s effort to modernise the cashless payment policy in the country.