NCC Raids Ikoyi Over 9mobile’s Service Disruptions, Impounds GSM Boosters
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday raided Ikoyi, Lagos to fish out a microfinance bank who has been using GSM Boosters to degrade mobile telecommunication services on the island.
GSM boosters are devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore interfere with other radio frequency equipment.
Salisu Abdu, Head, Monitoring and Compliance NCC told newsmen that the commission has confiscated the GSM Booster the micro-finance bank has been using to illegally tap network frequencies.
Three different companies with their locations in Ikoyi were also allegedly culpable in using GSM Booster to interfere on telecommunication network besides Page Microfinance Bank.
According to Abdul, GMT Energy Resources, Club 57 and a property on No 61, Ademola Street, Ikoyi were the other identified companies and location that localised GSM Boosters which have been interfering intercommunication services in the area without NCC’s permission.
He said the enforcement team could not access the premises of the fourth location on No. 61, Ademola Street in Ikoyi to confiscate the equipment.
The NCC raid, followed complaints received from 9mobile in respect of frequency interference it was having in its network, which has subjected a number of corporate and individual customers to poor service quality on the mobile network.
His words; “We are in Lagos today in respect of a compliant we received from 9mobile in respect of frequency interference they are having on 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 to do that in accordance with the provision of the telecoms laws and they have removed all the equipment.”
He further explained that 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 have not only removed the equipment before we came for the raid but had also returned the equipment to their vendors.
According to Abdu the NCC team has discovered the vendors who are trading and installing the illegal GSM Booster and stated that “the next phase of our enforcement activities, therefore, is to visit the vendors who are illegally selling the equipment without our own permission.”
He added that,“observance of the country’s telecoms laws are an essential ingredient towards achieving the sustainability of the industry growth.”