Chances are you are not able to check your airtime account balance at the moment or you earlier had the challenge or maybe you were not even able to recharge airtime on your phone.
The reason is not farfetched: the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently approved unified Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) codes for all mobile networks in Nigeria.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports this to mean that prevailing USSD codes to check airtime and also recharge a phone with airtime stopped working effective 17th of May 2023.
Except for CDMA networks, the NCC released the unified USSD codes to work with all GSM networks in the country. All mobile networks in the country, including MTN, Airtel, Glo, 9mobile and the rest are all affected.
This means all mobile network services will be using the same customer care number, the same code for checking data balances, and the same code for credit recharge, etc.
The old and new harmonized shortcodes ran concurrently up till May 17 2023, when all networks started to fully implement the new codes.
Below are the unified USSD codes for all mobile networks in Nigeria:
- Call Centre: 300
- Borrow Services: *303#
- Stop Service: *305#
- Check Balance: *310#
- Credit Recharge: *311#
- Data Plan: *312#
- Data plan balance: *323#
- Share Services: *321#
- DND: 2442
- Porting services: 3232
- NIN Verification and NIN-SIM Linkage: *996#
The use of harmonised short codes 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.
The new USSD codes are essential to make life much easier for telecom consumers, as it is now easier for Nigerians to memorise single codes for services across all mobile networks.
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.