The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) yesterday in a statement said it has directed all mobile network operators in Nigeria to implement the harmonized shortcodes for telecom services starting May 17, 2023.

In the statement signed by its Director of Public Affairs, Mr. Reuben Mouka, noted that the use of harmonised shortcodes is aimed at achieving uniformity in common short codes across networks. This means that the code for checking airtime balance is the same across all mobile networks for the same function, irrespective of the network a consumer uses.

“With the new codes, the telecom consumers using the over 226 million active mobile lines in the country, can now use the same codes to access services across the networks. The directive is in line with our consumer-centric approach to telecoms regulation,” the statement said.

The 13 harmonised short codes

  Sort code Usage
1.        300 Call Centre/Help Desk
2.        301 Voice Mail Deposit
3.        302 Voice Mail Retrieval
4.        303 Borrow Services
5.        305 STOP Service
6.        310 Check Balance
7.        311 Credit Recharge
8.        312 Data Plan
9.        321 Share Services
10.    323 Data Plan Balance
11.    996 Verification of SIM Registration/NIN-SIM Linkage
12.    2442 Do-Not-Disturb
13.    3232 Mobile Number Portability

The old and new harmonised shortcodes will run concurrently up until May 17, 2023, when all networks are expected to have fully migrated to full implementation of the new codes.  The period between now and May 17, 2023, is provided by the NCC to enable telecom consumers to familiarise themselves with the new codes for various services.

The initiative is in line with NCC’s regulatory modernisation programme and is essential to make life much easier for telecom consumers, as it is now easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for various services across all mobile networks they may be using, thereby improving consumer quality of experience (QoE).


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