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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Illegal use of GSM boosters: NCC raids bank, 2 others over 9mobile service disruption

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday stormed the Ikoyi axis of Lagos State to raid organisations for deploying Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication boosters illegally, reports ITRealms.

This, boosters, ITRealms gathered were illegally installed and have constituted service disruption for one of the nation’s mobile network operators, 9mobile.

As said by the Enforcement Unit of NCC, the raid affected Page Microfinance Bank, GMT Energy Resources, Club 57 and a property on No 61, Ademola Street, Ikoyi-Lagos.

ITRealms also gathered that while the four locations were found by the enforcement team, only the first three were tracked as the team could not access the premises of the fourth location on No. 61, Ademola Street.

In addition, ITRealms gathered that NCC raid is sequel to complaints received from 9mobile with respect of frequency interference on its network around the raided region, which subjected both corporate and individual customers to be experiencing poor quality of service delivery.

Addressing the media after the enforcement exercise that lasted for hours, Head of Enforcement Unit at NCC, Mr. Salisu Abdu, who led the team from Abuja, said after a thorough search, the team was able to localise the culprits causing the network interference to the four locations.

“We are in Lagos today in respect of a compliant we received from 9mobile over 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 o do that in accordance with the provision of the telecoms laws and they have removed all the equipment.”

Meanwhile, Abdu said the NCC team during the raid confiscated GSM Booster equipment found with Page Microfinance Bank just as we found that GMT Energy Resources and Club 57 not only removed the equipment become we came for the raid but had also returned the equipment to their vendors.

While stressing that the enforcement team also, during the clampdown, discovered the people who are selling the equipment illegally in the country, Abdu 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.


He promised the resolve of the Commission to consistent carries out enforcement activities toward ensuring that the right thing is done in the country with a view to ensure effective growth of the nation’s telecoms industry, saying that “observance of the country’s telecoms laws are an essential ingredient towards achieving the sustainability of the industry growth.”

Ayo Midele/GEE

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