Wednesday, March 14, 2012

NCC may sanction unauthorized users of 5.2-5.9 GHz band

The game may be up for those individuals and institutions currently using the 5.2-5.9 GHz band without relevant authorization.

Dr. Eugene Juwah, EVC of NCC
Feelers reaching ITRealms Online from the telecommunications apex house in Abuja indicated that Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may be gearing up to literally bite those unauthorized users on this frequency band.

Investigations by ITRealms Online indicated that this band range gives a boost to wireless access and classified to an extent as enabling technologies to operate not only on the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands of 2.4 and 5.8 GHz bands but other bands like 2.0, 3.5, 5.0, 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 GHz among others have been crossly used by financial institutions, hitherto known as license exempt spectrum.

It was also gathered that these users take advantage of this band without commiserate frequency allocation procedure from the government, hence NCC is frowning at it.

Director, Public Affairs, Nigerian Communications Commission, Mr. Tony Ojobo had in recent public notices, even published in some six national dailies warned that it has come to the notice of the NCC that despite these efforts to quit the band of illegal use of 5.2-5.9 GHz band, some banks are still operating in the band.

He therefore reiterated that all banks in Nigeria to consult their ICT service provider(s) to confirm that they are not buying bandwidth from illegal operators and unauthorized service providers on the 5.470-5.725 GHz band.

He insisted that all concerned banks or any persons affected should once again note that it is a criminal offence pursuant to Section 122 National Communications Act (NCA) of 2003 to operate in any frequency not duly assigned by the Commission.

The consequences of such act, he said, may lead to imprisonment, sanction and forfeiture of equipment used in operating the illegal services.

Ojobo was particular that section 141 of the NCA 2003 gives the Commission’s officials, authority to enter any affected person or licensee’s premises.

In view of the above, he said, all banks operating within the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.470-5.725 GHz frequency range are hereby advised to immediately vacate the frequency band.

“The Enforcement Unit of the Commission shall without further recourse commence appropriate nationwide enforcement action including but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used in the illegal transmission of services,” he warned.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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