Last updated on May 22nd, 2023 at 12:28 pm
On Tuesday, March 14, 2023, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) rolled out a list of unified short codes for MTN, GLO, Airtel, and 9mobile.
NCC is an agency of Nigeria’s Communications Ministry saddled with the responsibility of issuing licenses to mobile carriers and regulating activities of telecommunication companies in Nigeria.
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What do harmonized shortcodes mean for users?
This means that instead of memorizing code for checking MTN or GLO separately, users will now be able to use the same codes across all mobile networks.
It means that users of MTN, Airtel, 9mobile, and Glo mobile networks will carry out the services their individual network providers provide with the same shortcodes.
What are the new unified shortcodes?
If you use up to four mobile networks because of fear of the unpredictable nature of networks across Nigeria, here is the full list of the NCC unified shortcodes to use:
- To recharge: 311
- Call centre: 300;
- To buy data: 312
- Borrow services: 303
- To check data balance: 323
- Check airtime balance: 310
- Voicemail deposit: 301
- Voice mail retrieval: 302
- Stop services: 305
- Share services: 321
- Do Not Disturb (DND): 2442
- Porting Services: 3232
Finally, the unified code for the verification of Subscriber Identity Module Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage is 996
What should mobile network users do to start using the codes?
They don’t have to do anything. Provided they have a mobile line, dial any of the above shortcodes on their line to start using.
Notably, some telecommunication firms started the implementation a few days after NCC announced the new codes.
How to use
Let’s take 312 for an Airtel user who wants to buy data plan, all he does is to dial *312# to access other options such as:
- My offer
- Data bundles
- N5000/22GB/30 days
- N500/2.5GB/2 days
- Family plan
- Everyday ON
Then he chooses the option he wants by the number.
To subscribe to 7 days of 6GB which cost N1500, he chooses 5.
This procedure applies to other networks. It is very simple and straightforward.
Benefits of harmonized shortcodes
1) It makes telecommunication services easier for users.
2) It reduces the burden for users who before now had to know all codes for their networks by heart.
3) It helps reshape the telecom experience for users.
4) It makes service through short code easier for telecom providers.
5) For Nigeria, it shows that the country is in line with the global best practices.
When will mobile networks start the implementation?
At the time of publication, all the mobile networks in Nigeria – GLO, Airtel, 9mobile, and MTN – have started implementing the new unified shortcodes.
Although, Nigeria’s mobile regulatory agency gave May 17, 2023, as the deadline for implementation, according to a statement signed NCC Director of Public Affairs.Reuben Mouka.
What will happen to the old shortcodes?
The existing shortcodes will cease to be in use by March 14, 2024.
This means that they have a year to run concurrently for a year when they will be phased out.
What are the new MTN USSD codes?
MTN doesn’t have special shortcodes any more, the same NCC unified USSD codes work for MTN e.g dial *303# on your MTN line to access the borrow services.
However, we have a dedicated article for the latest MTN codes that you might also find very interesting to know.
I don’t know the new Airtel USSD codes.
Just like other networks, the new shortcodes released by NCC work for Airtel subscribers. E.G dial *323# to check airtel data balance.
You don’t need to trouble yourself searching for, “9mobile new USSD codes” or “Glob new USSD codes” or whatever mobile networks you use, the Unified USSD codes work on all the networks.
All you need to do is add * at the beginning and end with # and dial, that’s all.