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NCC sanitizing telecoms sector: How regulator ended unauthorized transmission on 5.4GHz [II]

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In this report you will understand how:

  • NCC stopped Trefoil from unauthorized transmission on 5.4GHz
  • Ended interferences on ipNX network
  • Sanctioned Airtel for unilateral disconnection of Exchange Telecommunications Limited due to QoS
  • Sanctioned 9Mobile & Airtel for contravention of the direction on Do Not Disturb (DND)
  • Other findings
NCC

Danbatta

Spectrum is to telecommunication what blood is to human body. It is a sort-after resource and quite scarce.

Therefore, telecom regulators all over the world take necessary measure to guard against authorised access to such resource.

TechEconomy.ng found out that in 2019 the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) led by the Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Umar Danbatta, carrying out the statutory monitoring and evaluation made remarkable progress towards ensuring sanity in the Nigerian telecommunications space.

The NCC monitoring team, for instance, visited the site of Trefoil Network Limited operation in Abuja and made some discoveries.

The visit was as a result of the company’s presentation to the Commission in respect of its application for a regional Private Network Link (PNL) license which it intended to deploy using the unlicensed 5GHz band, TechEconomy.ng can report.

“However, monitoring checks revealed that Trefoil was transmitting on the licensed 5.4GHz band for its Internet service provision. A pre-enforcement notice was sent to Trefoil accordingly. In its response letter dated March 5th, 2019, it informed the Commission that it had vacated and desisted from the licensable portion of the band”, a report from the Commission later indicated.

Subsequently, NCC enforcement team took action against illegal users of 5.4GHz Frequency Band causing interference on IPNX Nig. Ltd Network.

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The Enforcement Unit of the Commission received a referral from Spectrum Administration Department regarding a complaint of frequency interference assigned to ipNX Nigeria Limited on the 5.4GHz band affecting its services in Abuja, Kano, Lagos Ibadan and Port Harcourt. Consequently, the Commission issued pre-enforcement notices to the affected companies to vacate the frequency band on or before March 10, 2019.

Following the notices, while some companies notified the Commission of their compliance, others failed to respond.

Consequently, the Commission carried out an enforcement action against the illegal usage of 5.4GHz in Kano on March 12th, 2019 and in Lagos on March 26th, 2019 respectively to verify the claims by the companies/operators.

The Companies visited in Kano were found to have vacated the 5.4GHz band that were causing interference.

Enforcement was effected against three (3) companies found to be in violation in Lagos after the enforcement exercise undertaken for that purpose.

Recovered items included 2 SDR Radio antennas and 2 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Power Packs in the operation and thereby enabled the successful shut down of the offending radios.

Unilateral disconnection of Exchange Telecommunications Limited by Airtel Networks Limited

TechEconomy.ng also learned that in the year 2019, the Commission found Airtel Networks Ltd to have contravened the provisions of the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations 2013 and Enforcement Processes Regulations 2005, by disconnecting Exchange Telecommunications Limited without the Commission’s approval.

Consequently, Airtel was sanctioned on March 28, 2019 to pay the sum of ₦121, 000,000 to the Commission.

Contravention of the direction on Do Not Disturb (DND) By 9Mobile (EMTS) and Airtel

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We also learned that in the course of monitoring compliance with the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Direction, the NCC discovered that EMTS (9Mobile) & Airtel subscribed and billed 13 and 56 MSISDNs respectively on full DND to Value Added Service (VAS).

This contravened the DND Direction.

Accordingly, Commission communicated with the licensees who claimed that contravention was caused by technical and software challenges.

Their pleas were rejected by the Commission and they were consequently sanctioned to pay ₦5, 000,000 each on February 26th and 27th, 2019 respectively for breach of the Direction.

Approval to allow resumption of traffic with Solid Interconnectivity Service Limited

In consideration of responses received from Solid Interconnect which includes the renewal of its Interconnect Exchange (IEX) license, NCC via a letter dated January 17, 2019 directed Globacom to reconnect Solid Interconnect and allow the routing of traffic.

However, the Commission received a letter from Solid Interconnectivity stating that notwithstanding approval by the Commission, Globacom is delaying the process of re-establishing interconnection with its network. Consequently, a pre-enforcement notice dated March 5, 2019 was issued to Globacom directing it to reconnect solid and allow the routing of traffic on or before March 15, 2019.

…To be continued

Saviour Adugba is a journalist by day and a poet by night. He is fascinated by the internet of things, virtual reality and connecting the dots for brands. Saviour is the Lead, Content Development at TechEconomy.ng.

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