Five years after the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) raised the issue of uniform shortcodes, telecom operators in the country have begun the implementation of harmonized shortcodes to check airtime balance, buy airtime and other services by the operators.
Through the harmonization process, the NCC seeks to replicate global best practices in the Nigerian telecommunications space.
Currently, there are more than four major mobile network operators and 21 commercial banks operating in Nigeria. Most of these institutions have shortcodes to their customers for essential services such as airtime and data recharge, balance checking, borrowing and many other services.
In a statement, the umbrella body for telecom operators in the country, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) said the harmonization of shortcodes is aimed at implementing a streamlined process for common shortcodes across the industry by making life easier for Nigerians through the memorization of single codes for various services across all framework that is consistent with global practices.
Announcing the commencement of the implementation, ALTO stated “Following the directive from the NCC, the Association hereby informs the general public that the Network Operators have begun implementing the shortcodes, working closely with the NCC.
ALTON noted 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.
He listed the uniform codes as: 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; Shared services –321; Data Plan Balance—323; Verification of SIM Registration/NIN—SIM Linkage—996 and Porting Services (MNP) 2442.