In March of this year, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) directed all telecommunications operators in Nigeria to commence implementing harmonized short codes for all telecommunications services. This new system requires all mobile network operators to use the same code for the same service, meaning all old codes used to recharge, subscribe for data, and check balances, among others, will cease to function from May 17.
Until now, each telecom operator had its unique code for various services, requiring subscribers with multiple lines to memorize different codes for the respective operators. However, with the new system, customers will be able to use the same codes to recharge and buy data across all mobile networks.
The NCC has approved several new codes for various services, including 300 for Call Centre/Help Desk, 301 for Voice Mail Deposit, 302 for Voice Mail Retrieval, 303 for Borrow Services, 305 for STOP Service, 310 for Check Balance, 311 for credit recharge, 312 for Data Plan, 321 for Share services, 323 for Data Plan Balance, 996 for verification of subscriber identity module (SIM) registration or NIN-SIM linkage, 2442 for Do-Not-Disturb (DND) unsolicited messaging complaint management, and 3232 for porting services, also called mobile number portability.
The old and new harmonized short codes have been running concurrently up until now and will remain so until May 17, 2023, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to the new system. The NCC has provided a period between March and May 17 for concurrent usage of the codes to enable telecom consumers to familiarize themselves with the new codes for various services.
The NCC believes that this new system will make life easier for telecom subscribers, as it eliminates the need for customers to memorize different codes for different operators. All you must do is memorize the new codes and you’re good to go!
What do you think of the new harmonized shortcodes? Do you believe this new system will make life easier for telecom subscribers? Let us know in the comments below.