Exclusive: MTN and Globacom reach agreement to pay ₦2 billion in outstanding interconnection fees

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MTN Nigeria and Globacom (Glo), two of Nigeria’s leading telcos, have ended a 15-year-long dispute over interconnection fees after MTN agreed to accept ₦2 billion to settle the interest payment instead of the ₦3 billion initially demanded, one person familiar with the negotiations told TechCabal. The interconnection debt on which those interests accrued was settled earlier, the same person said.

The agreement follows efforts initiated by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) at the behest of Glo. In January, Glo faced the threat of disconnection by MTN Nigeria and was given 21 days by the NCC to settle its debt or risk seeing its 61.5 million subscribers blocked from calling MTN lines.

Glo’s interconnection fee debt grew over the year because it often paid substantially less than the bill it racked up. There have been multiple threats from MTN and Airtel Nigeria to disconnect Glo over the years, with MTN disconnecting Glo for five days in 2019.

The recent disconnection process began in November 2022 due to an accumulated debt owed to MTN Nigeria by Glo, and MTN sought NCC’s approval for a disconnection, eventually receiving it in December 2023. 

A source at NCC said the new executive vice chairman plans to do things differently by ensuring all telecom operators comply with the market rules.