The Nigerian Communications Commission has slammed N25m fine on operators using the 5.4GHz Spectrum Frequency illegally.
As part of its enforcement exercise carried out in 2018, the commission in its Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement report for Q4 2019 released on Friday, said five companies were discovered to be using the spectrum illegally.
The commission identified the companies as Priority Communications, Entouche Networks, Futurecom, KKON Technologies and Spar.
The telecoms regulator said it charged the companies to court but they pleaded for leniency and requested for out-of-court settlement.
“Arising from the enforcement exercise carried out in 2018 in respect of the illegal utilisation of the 5.4GHz Spectrum Frequency by five companies (Priority Communications, Entouche Networks, Futurecom, KKON Technologies & Spar) found to be utilising 5.4GHz frequency band illegally,” the NCC said.
Following their plea, the commission said administrative fines of N5m only were imposed on each the companies operating illegally and the deadline for payment was fixed as February 26, 2020.
While some of the companies have effected full payment of the fine, some have proposed to pay on instalment.
The commission, in the report, said it conducted enforcement exercises in Cross Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Otukpa, Warri, Benin, Enugu and Owerri respectively based on illegal and unauthorised usage of the 5.4GHz frequency band.
It added that several arrests were made in Warri, Uyo, Calabar and Owerri while some items were confiscated and the cases filed at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps for investigation and possible prosecution.
The industry regulator said it reviewed downward a sanction imposed on Airtel Nigeria for forceful subscription of 2,392,084 MSISDNs into the Value Added Services on its network.
The fine, which was N2.40bn, was reduced to N866, 842,000, based on call detail record submitted by the telecom operator.
The NCC stated that it received a security report from the NSCDC, Jigawa State Command, in respect of the prevalence and sale of fully activated SIM cards in some major Markets across the State.
According to the report, the NSCDC identified 14 markets where pre-registered SIM Cards are sold in and the 15 suspects involved in the sale were arrested and handed over to the NSCDC for further investigation and possible prosecution.