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List of Harmonized Short Codes Approved by NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has instructed mobile network operators (MNOs) to begin implementing authorized harmonized short codes (HSC) for the provision of certain services to telecom users in Nigeria, in keeping with its consumer-centric approach to telecoms regulation.

The Commission has already established May 17, 2023 as the cutoff date for all mobile networks to completely transition from the previously disparate short codes to the harmonized.

To achieve homogeneity in popular short codes across networks, harmonized short codes are used. This implies that, regardless of the network a customer uses, the code for checking airtime balance is the same across all mobile networks for the same function.

Reuben Muoka, Director of Public Affairs for the NCC, issued a press release stating that the new codes allow telecom users of the more than 226 million active mobile lines in the nation to use the same numbers to access services across the networks.

13 common short codes have so been accepted by the Commission as part of the new harmonized short codes system.

The following codes are among them: The standardized call center/help desk code for all mobile networks is 300. Other important codes include 301 for voice mail deposit, 302 for voice mail retrieval, 303 for borrow services, 305 for STOP service, 310 for check balance, and 311 for credit reload.

Moreover, 312 is now used as the standard network code for data plans. 323 is for Data Plan Balance in accordance with the new direction, while 321 is for Sharing Services. The verification of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage is now done using the code 996. The common code, 3232, is also preserved for porting services, popularly known as mobile number portability, while the code 2442 is retained for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) uninvited message complaint management.

Prior to May 17, 2023, when all networks are anticipated to have fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes, the old and new harmonized short codes will operate side by side. The NCC has given telecom users the time between now and May 17, 2023, so they may get used to the new codes for the various services.

Because Nigerians can now more easily recall single codes for a variety of services across whatever mobile networks they may be using, the initiative, which is in accordance with NCC’s regulatory modernization agenda, is crucial to improving the quality of experience for consumers in the telecom industry (QoE).

In addition, the new policy will provide the opportunity for licensees in the Value-Added Services (VAS) segment of the telecoms sector to be able to use freed-up/old codes for other services, as well as enhance cohesive regulatory framework in keeping with world-class practices.

Additionally, the new policy will give licensees in the Value-Added Services (VAS) sector of the telecoms industry the chance to employ old, freed-up codes for other services and will improve a cogent regulatory framework in line with best practices around the world.

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