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63 firms, govt agencies in 11 states illegally tap 5.4GHz frequency band—NCC

Unauthorized users of 5.4GHz frequency band in 11 states including some government agencies known for fighting corruption are now at the risk of being charged to court for taking part in illegal occupation on the 5.4GHz frequency band in the country.

Further investigations showed that a detailed regulatory provision for the deployment of services on the entire 5GHz band are contained in the Guidelines for deployment of broadband services on the 5.2-5.9GHz band, which is available on the commission’s website.

This is contained in a report compiled by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The commission accordingly, gave a 14 day enforcement notice to all the unauthorized operators on the band range from 5.430 to 5.725GHz to forthwith vacate and desist from further transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the band without authorization obtained from the NCC.

Closer looks at the confidential document showed that apart from recommending court action, the defaulters risk seizure of installations and equipments put to use on the band illegally.

Recall that statutorily, the NCC is empowered by law to farm and allocate such infinite resources via controlled auctioning and sales with usage terms and conditions.

Checks showed further that the defaulting firms make the illegal use in states including Akwa-Ibom; Benue; Cross River; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Imo; Kaduna; Kano; Lagos, and Oyo states.

In a memo signed by NCC Director of Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu and sent to the unauthorised users, NCC reminded then ahead of disciplinary action that the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.430-5.725GHz frequency range has been licensed in Nigeria and by records; they are not allotees which therefore makes their usage of the resource illegal.

Firms and affected government agencies whom the memo was addressed to include Kaduna State Government House; Lagos Internal Revenue Service; Project E-Delta; DSS; Polaris Bank; First Bank; Access Bank; Union Bank; AB Microfinance Bank; Bet Naija; Orange Drug Limited; Churchgate; IPNX; Cobranet; Hyperia; NETCO; Computer Warehouse; Helios Tower; IHS; MTN; Priority Communications; K-Kon; VDT, Swift Talk

Also to receive the query include MainOne, Globacom, Airtel; 9Mobile; Vodacom; Crust Resources; Cyberspace; Nova Business Centre; Sky Link; Centre Point; Electronics Connections; E-Stream; Cobranet, among others.

Ranges of the illegally accessed frequencies’ according to states show that while Benue illegally accessed 5.489 to 5.584GHz; Akwa Ibom use 5.547GHz; Cross River 5.5189 to 5.600GHz; Delta 5.5987 to 5.700GHz; Kaduna 5.45 to 5.5GHz; Enugu 5.489 to 5.618GHz; Imo 5,489 to 5.612GHz.

Others are Edo 5.601 to 5.6989GHz; Kano 5.6673 to 5.7107GHz; Lagos 5.6756 to 5.6978GHz, and Oyo 5.616 to 5.680GHz.

A tease warning contained in the memo read in parts: “Companies, government agencies; telecommunications service providers; private companies or any person(s) using this band in the designated places mentioned should note that it is a criminal offence pursuant to section 122 NCA, 2003 to operate in any frequency not duly assigned by the commission.

“The consequences of such act may lead to imprisonment, sanction and confiscation of equipment used in operating the illegal services,” the NCC memo averred.