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NCC warns against illegal use of GSM boosters

By Adeyemi Adepetun   |   20 June 2016   |   4:45 am
Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss.

Umar Danbatta, NCC Boss.

As part of measures targeted at improving quality of telecommunications service in the country, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned individuals against the use Global System of Mobile Telecommunications (GSM) boosters in the country.

NCC claimed that the use of GSM boosters is causing interference in the discharge of good telephony services by individuals and businesses in the country.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, yesterday, individuals desirous of using the GSM boosters should note that they can only do that in conjunction with licensed network operators.

Danbatta, in a public notice, uploaded on the commission’s website, described GSM boosters as devices that transmit and receive telecommunications signals and can therefore, interfere with other radio frequency equipment.

He said for the avoidance of doubt, wilful interference with any wireless telegraphy is an offence under Section 16 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 2004.

“The Commission will not condone any flagrant breach of this law”, he stressed.

Accordingly, he said mechanisms have been put in place for monitoring “and anyone caught using the GSM booster without obtaining approval of a duly licensed network operator will face arrest and prosecution.”

Recall that there had been complaints across the country about the downturn in service quality, which saw NCC taking steps in order to ensure improved quality of service delivery to the over 150 million telecoms subscribers in the country.

Four years ago, it developed Quality of Service (QoS) Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), which set some thresholds in service delivery for telecoms operators.

Accordingly, following the coming into force of the KPIs, telecoms operators have had to be fined by the regulator on several occasions for their inability to meet the thresholds set for them on quality of service delivery.

While NCC moves against illegal use of equipment contributing to poor telephony service, the Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Gbenga Adebayo, has urged the commission to help in addressing other teething industry challenges impinging on quality of service in the country.

According to him: “Cases of multiple taxation and frivolous levies on telecoms company, slow approvals for infrastructure rollout, issue of Right of Ways (RoW), vandalism and non-classification of telecoms infrastructure as critical national security and economic infrastructure are still many challenges that continue to affect the quality of service delivery.”




  • Babagordy

    If service signal was strong and extensive, then a booster will be useless and needless

  • Insightfully Incising

    Generally, when people pay for service, they would like the service to be of good quality and readily available. If your regular service provider is poor, you have the option of moving to another, with better quality. If all providers have poor quality, then you have to find ways to meet your needs for good service.

    It is in this regards that the NCC was created to ensure that communications providers provide the right quality at every time to the people who subscribe to their service plan. The EFCC is therefore the “Communications Police” for the common man who subscribes to the Communications providers services offered. They also serve to regulate what the Provider can charge and indeed manage all providers of communications service in Nigeria

    Unfortunately, if the service providers are not able to provide the right equality of service, and the consumer is not able to get the NCC to do it’s job, then, like in the case of security, the consumer will do that which is necessary to obtain good service, even if it means wearing antennas on their heads.

    For security, it has long been known that the government is not able to provide adequate services to protect the people so, people have resorted to getting their own “MaiGaurdi” (?) which has lead to proliferation of the guard services. So, does this interfere with the Policing of the country by the regular Government outfits? Probably in some way. But the Government has come to terms with this, even providing armed supports to the guard services for certain people.

    For the communications system,, the NCC has failed woefully in protecting the consumers, allowing the service providers to provide poor services at very high cost to the consumers. The NCC has been more of a protector of the Providers than the consumers, as clearly revealed by this warning that people should not use boosters because it interferes with wireless telephony (grammar). I dare the NCC to show us how. Certainly the Providers must have seen that because the boosters give you more coverage and therefore extends the distance of your coverage, they see that it will reduce the possibility of consumers to carry more phones at a time, and so, reduce the income that they generate for multiple lines. Most people in Nigeria have services from at least two providers at a time. So, you spend double on communications.

    If NCC really wants to help the consumer, they should start by accepting that they have failed and consumers who are finding ways to improve on their reception. They should then charge the NCC for each consumer that has a repeater or booster as that is what they should have provided in the first place. If services are everywhere and at all times, while would a consumer need a booster? NCC please respond to this question.

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