The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has shut some telecom companies in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, and Calabar in Cross River State, for violating the guidelines for the deployment of 5.4GHz frequency band in the states.
The measure is part of the industry regulator’s nationwide enforcement drive aimed at ensuring that operators conform to specified regulatory guidelines.
The enforcement team, led by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Mr. Efosa Idehen, had on April 26 and 27, 2018 clampdown on the affected entities for allegedly violating the commission’s guidelines for the deployment of service in the 5.4GHz frequency band.
It would be recalled that the Commission had on 3rd April, 2018 issued a public notice, based on the guidelines for the deployment of service in the 5.4GHz frequency band, warning unlicensed operators to stop illegal transmission in the 5.4GHz frequency band within 14 days.
Following the expiration of the deadline and in furtherance of the commission’s moves to enforce the directive, the enforcement team visited the states and shut down the operations of Hot Minet Services in Calabar and United Bank for Africa (UBA) branch, located at Udo Udoma Banking layout, Uyo, for failing to comply with the guidelines.
This is even as the team also confiscated the non-type approved equipment used by the operators in providing the alleged illegal services, ordering the affected companies to obtain the requisite licence before their premises would be unsealed.
Idehen clarified: “It is pertinent to state that it’s a criminal offence to provide service in frequency band not validly assigned or licensed by the Nigerian Communications Commission. This position is supported by the provision of Section 121 and 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003.”
“The punishment for the said violation is a fine for the initial fee for the relevant licence; a fine not exceeding ten times the fee for the relevant licence; imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year; or both such fine and imprisonment”, Idehen added.
The team leader confirmed that some suspects had been handed over to the relevant security agencies for investigation and possible prosecution.