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NCC orders Visafone to vacate 800 MHz band

2 min read

The Nigerian Communication Commission has ordered Visafone Communications Limited to stop operating in the 800 MHz band due to its interference with Smile Communications Limited signals.

The Commission gave the directive after the end of its second Quarter spectrum monitoring exercise, saying that Visafone should switch off all CDMA signals in the 800 MHz band entering into Ikeja, Lagos area.

This is even as the report showed that the industry regulator had recovered from Layer 3 Limited, one of the internet service and metropolitan fibre optic network operators the sum of N34, 066,537.28 outstanding financial obligations due to the NCC.

The amount is the Annual Operating Levy (AOL) due to the Commission, of which the NCC had directed Layer 3 Limited to make full payment during the period as a precondition for renewal of its expired licence.

It also indicated that Spatials Limited entered into a joint venture agreement with Vodacom Business Africa Nigeria Limited for the marketing and distribution of AVTS services without obtaining approval from the Commission contrary to Condition 13 of the terms and condition of its licence.

During the quarter under review, the Commission conducted a compliance monitoring exercise on Automated Vehicular Tracking Service (AVTS) Licensees adding that “given the peculiar security issues
associated with the provision of vehicle tracking services and given concerns of increasing activities of illegal operators in this market segment it became most imperative that a comprehensive compliance monitoring checks is done.”

It also hinted of plans to commence enforcement action against all defaulters to recover.

“Pursuant to the Commission’s goal of sustaining the integrity of the Mobile Number Portability Scheme in the country, the Commission has continued to monitor the porting process with a view to ensuring strict adherence to the MNP Regulation 2014 in addition to the business rules. To this end, a system audit of operator’s MNP Platform and Short Message Service Center, SMSC, was carried out during the period”, the report stated.

The report from the NCC said that in Q2 of 2016, its exercise focused attention on reviewing all rejected
port requests by the donor within the period to ensure that these rejections were made for valid reasons consistent with the MNP Business Rules.

On the currently menace of unsolicited calls and text messages, thereport stated that all mobile network operators, MNOs, had been directed to ensure full compliance and that failure to comply attracts a fine of N5,000,000.00.

The decision to be hard on the MNO, according the NCC, became necessary because of the avalanche
of complaints from telecoms subscribers on the menace of unsolicited text messages and nuisance calls from mobile network operators in the industry.

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