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NCC speeds up moves for early release of spectrums, gives 14 days to operators

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Going by the time the new ultimatum on the immediate release of spectrums by operators which was last Thursday, today, Monday will make it just 10 days to possible sanctions by the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Otherwise, the NCC is now giving operators hot chase ahead of efforts to drive broadband delivery and target of 30 per cent come next year by directing them to release the 5.4GHz band spanning the 5.470 to 5.725 GHz frequency range within the remaining 10 days from today.

However in climes, analysts say the 5.4GHz frequency can be classified as free spectrum and can be deployed by service providers to render wireless internet services, indications are clear that such scenario does not hold in Nigeria, hence the ultimatum.

The regulator had on Thursday last week, through the Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said the frequency was not free but licensed in Nigeria, stressing that no operator of whatever genre of service should jump on to the frequency without obtaining a licence for its use.

According to him, “The NCC hereby informs the general public that the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.470 – 5.725 GHz frequency range is a licensed band in Nigeria. Transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on this band without a frequency licence obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission is illegal and shall not be tolerated”.

“All concerned operators/companies or any person(s) using this band should note that it is a criminal offence pursuant to the section 122 of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 to operate on any frequency not duly assigned by the commission. The consequences of such an act may lead to imprisonment, sanction and forfeiture of equipment used in operating the illegal services.”

Danbatta said “In view of the above, the commission hereby gives a 14-day pre-enforcement notice to all unlicensed operators on the 5.4 GHz band spanning 5.470 – 5.725 GHz to forthwith vacate and desist from further transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on this band without authorisation obtained from the Nigerian Communications Commission.

“The commission shall without further recourse and upon expiration of the stipulated deadline commence appropriate enforcement action, including but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used in the illegal transmission, ” NCC boss cautioned.


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