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The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, on Wednesday clamped down on four telecoms companies for engaging in illegal usage of spectrum frequency.
The four operators, Steam Communications, Netcom Africa, SwiftTalk and Multi-dimension Technologies, are all located in Lagos.
Head of Enforcement Unit of NCC, Salisu Abdu, told newsmen during the operation that they were also on the trail of three more operators who were violating regulations in the industry.
Abdu said that the operators were operating on the 5.4 gigahertz frequency band which was not licensed to them by the commission.
He said the operation of the telecoms firms was an offence under Section 122 of the Nigerian Communication Act 2003, adding that it was a criminal act to operate without proper licensing by the NCC.
According to him, in 2009, NCC came up with a guideline on the deployment of service on the 5.4Ghz band that no operator should operate on it without obtaining necessary licences from NCC.
”In the course of the guideline, we have monitored compliance and we have discovered that we still have some operators operating illegally on the 5.4GHz till 2012. So, after recent monitoring by the spectrum administration department of NCC, about seven operators are now discovered to be operating on the 5.4Ghz band,” he said.
Abdu said that when a team from the NCC visited Steam Communications Company on Tuesday, it found it to be operating on the 5.4GHz band and its radio equipment were immediately confiscated and the company would be prosecuted and fined appropriately at the end of investigations.
He said that Netcom Africa, Multi-dimension and SwiftTalk were collocating their equipment on a telecom mast belonging to a licensed inter- connect clearing operator.
”Currently, we have removed the power units, which the three tenant companies are using to power their services. We have asked them to remove the actual radio equipment from the mast which they are going to hand over to the commission and investigation will be carried out accordingly,” the enforcement boss said.
Abdu warned licensees in the telecoms sector to always comply with their licensing conditions, adding that indulging in illegal operations was capable of creating unnecessary interferences in telecoms service delivery, which ultimately affects the consumer.