NCC raids Lagos firms for interfering with 9mobile’s services
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) this week stormed Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, to ferret out organisations whose equipment had been interfering and degrading 9mobile’s services.
The affected firms are Page Microfinance Bank, GMT Energy Resources, Club 57 and another property located on No 61, Ademola Street, Ikoyi, Lagos.
While the first three culprits were tracked, the team could not gain access into the premises of the fourth located on No. 61, Ademola Street in Ikoyi.
Head, Enforcement Unit at the NCC, Mr. Salisu Abdu, who flew in from Abuja for the exercise, said after a thorough search, the team was able to identify the culprits causing the network interference to the four locations.
“We are in Lagos today in respect of a complaint we received from 9mobile in respect of a frequency interference they are having in their network. We have investigated the complaints and found that the interference signal was localised at four locations here in Lagos, particularly in Ikoyi axis.
“We got all the locations. They are four. Fortunately, we realised that they had all removed the equipment causing the interferences on 9mobile network following our initial notice earlier served them to desist from the use of GSM boosters to jam network,” he said.
Abdu explained that under the Nigerian Communication Act, 2003, it is illegal for any person or organisation to install any communications equipment capable of causing threats to service interoperability because such a practice degrades the quality of service.
“This equipment called GSM boosters were installed and were being used illegally. What they actually do with GSM booster is to improve the quality of service in their own premises at the detriments of neighbouring residents.
“So, what the equipment does is to extort services from other telecoms services users around and localise within the user’s premises.
“While the use of GSM booster can be seen as an advantage to the user, it is a disadvantage to the neighbours. It is illegal to do that in accordance with the provision of the telecoms laws and they have removed all the equipment.”
Abdu said the NCC team confiscated the GSM booster found with Page Microfinance Bank just as it found that GMT Energy Resources and Club 57 not only removed the equipment before the team came but had also returned the equipment to their vendors.
Stressing that the enforcement team also discovered the people selling the equipment illegally in the country, he said: “The next phase of our enforcement activities, therefore, is to visit the vendors who are illegally selling the equipment without our own permission.”
Abdu used the opportunity to warn organisations and individuals using illegal installation sin the country to desist, threatening that for those not desisting from act, the long arm of the law will catch up with them.