Telcos, banks, agencies face sanctions over illegal use of 5.4GHz band

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has accused some 63 companies and agencies of government in 11 states of illegal occupation on the 5.4GHz frequency band in the country.

According to NCC, culprits risk sanctions, including imprisonment, fine and confiscation of equipments put to use on the band illegally.

According to a document first sighted by The Guardian, on Monday, out of the 63 entities, three are government agencies; six are banks, and 55 telecoms and technology companies.

The identified companies operate in Akwa-Ibom; Benue; Cross River; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Imo; Kaduna; Kano; Lagos, and Oyo states.

The Commission, which addressed the document to all the unauthorised users, said the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.430-5.725GHz frequency range has been licensed in Nigeria. It stressed that transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the band without a frequency license obtained from the NCC is illegal.

Listed companies and agencies 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; MainOne; Priority Communications; K-Kon; VDT, Swift Talk

Others are MTN, Globacom, Airtel; 9Mobile; Vodacom; Crust Resoources; Cyberspace; Nova Business Centre; Sky Link; Centre Point; Electronics Connections; E-Stream; Cobranet, among others.

In Akwa Ibom, those affected use 5.547GHz; Benue 5.489 to 5.584GHz; Cross River 5.5189 to 5.600GHz; Delta 5.5987 to 5.700GHz; Edo 5.601 to 5.6989GHz; Enugu 5.489 to 5.618GHz; Imo 5,489 to 5.612GHz.

Others are Kaduna 5.45 to 5.5GHz; Kano 5.6673 to 5.7107GHz; Lagos 5.6756 to 5.6978GHz, and Oyo 5.616 to 5.680GHz.

In the document signed by NCC Director of Public Affairs, Henry Nkemadu, those discovered to be using the band in the designated places are doing it illegally.

“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,” NCC stated.

In view of this, the commission gave a 14 day enforcement notice to all the unauthorized operators on the band spaning 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.

The telecoms regulator said it 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 of services.

NCC reminded 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.

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