NCC seals bank, telco office
By BiztechAfrica – Dec. 26, 2011, 6:19 a.m.
By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has sealed off the equipment room of a branch of Intercontinental Bank of Nigeria at Wuse, Zone 5, Abuja, alongside that of a telecom operator, IPNX Ltd, for illegal use of the 5.4GHz Frequency Band.
Two officers of the bank were handed over to the police for further investigation over the source of their transmission, as the bank has no operational license to provide the service while radio equipment from the bank and the telecom company, IPNX, were seized by the officials of the Commission led by Efosa Idehen, the Head of Enforcement of the Commission.
The Head of Media and Public Relations of the NCC, Reuben Muoka, said the action was in line with the Commission’s mandate and commitment to ensure that the frequency spectrum is not abused. He said the frequency spectrum is a finite resource of the country and that the companies involved are denying the Federal Government of its source of revenues.
He said apart from sealing the offices and removing the equipment of culpable companies or institutions, they will also be liable to paying all the relevant fees for those frequencies for the duration they have utilised them, in addition to paying the penalties associated with defaulting on the provisions of telecommunications regulatory statutes.
He said the Commission was able to detect the illegal operators and users through its state-of-the art signal monitoring equipment which it is deploying across the country to ensure that no company or organisation illegally operates or uses the licensable frequencies in the country.
The NCC Head of Enforcement, Mr. Idehen, said the action, which came only a few days after similar action against Galaxy Wireless Ltd also in Abuja, is to serve as deterrent to other illegal users or service providers on the licensable 5.4GHz spectrum band.
He said the companies have been severally issued direct warnings and public notices to steer clear of using the licensable frequencies as declared by the Commission.
He said the action should reinforce the warning to all operators who may be using this frequency illegally to desist from doing so. He said the banks were particularly informed to steer clear of these frequencies as many of them were suspected to be using them at the moment but that the Commission is combing the entire country to ensure that such illegal use are detected and appropriate sanctions meted to the defaulters.