Telephone Operators in Nigeria Release Unified Shortcodes For Airtime Recharge, Balance Inquiries, Others

Telephone Operators in Nigeria Release Unified Shortcodes For Airtime Recharge, Balance Inquiries, Others

  • MTN, Airtel, 9Mobile, Glo and other networks in Nigeria will have the same shortcodes for airtime recharge and data services, among others
  • The development comes following the directive by the Nigerian Communications Commission to unify the codes
  • The new codes would become effective May 17, 2023, while the other ones would be retired

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In a bid to save time and resources, telecommunication operators in Nigeria have started the implementation of harmonized shortcodes for their services.

The development aligns with the regulatory modernization initiative by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to ensure that shortcodes are the same across all networks.

MTN, Airtel, Glo
Telephone companies in Nigeria release uniform codes for srvices Credit: Bloomberg / Contributor
Source: Getty Images

New shortcodes to become effective May 17, 2023

The telecom operators under the aegis of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) announced this in a statement on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

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The body said the shortcodes are to implement a streamlined process for standard shortcodes across the industry, bringing relief to subscribers via the modernization of single codes for various services across all the networks and providing a balanced regulatory framework consistent with global practices.

ALTON said:

“Following the directive from NCC, the Association hereby inform the general public that the Network Operators have begun implementing the shortcodes, working closely with the NCC. The Commission has provided adequate time for subscribers to get AL

According to the umbrella body, the migration would be concluded by May 17, 2023, while old and new common codes will run concurrently before the old ones are retired.

The proposed harmonized shortcodes are:

  • 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
  • Porting Services (MNP) – 2442

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Before now, every operator had its unique code for balance inquiry, airtime recharge, and borrowing credit, among others.

New service to simplify operations for users

Reports say they require an operator subscriber with multiple phone numbers to memorise the different codes for each operator.

The move requires making the single shortcodes subscribers use across all network platforms.

Namely, codes for airtime, and data subscription. Balance inquiry, among others, would be the same across the networks.

MTN's MoMo Bank Moves to Rake in New merchants, asks customers to open accounts using old naira notes reported that Nigeria is in the middle of a cash crisis due to efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to demonetize the economy.

The current cash crisis has caused a boom in technology adoption, especially in fintech transactions.

The beneficiaries of the current cash crunch are mobile money operators and fintech companies such as MTN and Airtel.


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