The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) could possibly suspend the operating licenses of 6 telecommunications companies. The companies are allegedly guilty of allowing call masking on their networks.

This comes after the NCC issued the 6 telecommunications companies with notices on 12 January 2018 after apparently continuing to allow call masking on their networks. The NCC had suspicions that, among others, the companies were using call-masking to report international telecommunications traffic as local telecommunications traffic.

Call-masking is a technique that telecommunications companies allow on their networks whereby a person's/ organization's telephone number is masked when they send an SMS or make a call. The technique can in some cases be used to preserve the privacy of customers in the cases of e-commerce companies but it is known to be abused by some companies and people who use it.

The 6 companies, who have already been issued with notice of suspension of license letters, are:

  • Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Ltd
  • Medallion Communications Ltd
  • Niconnx Communications Ltd
  • Breeze Micro Ltd
  • Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Ltd

According to one report, one of the letters states that the NCC already posesses evidence of what the company has done.

β€œHaving carefully analyzed all the relevant data collected in the course of its investigation activities, the Commission has established a direct and indirect evidence against your company in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling.”

The companies, based of the issued suspension letters, also seem to have been notified of this breach for a while now and have ignored the NCC and didn't rectify the situation hence the NCC has taken the final step of suspending their licenses.

β€œConsequently, the commission, pursuant to Section 45 (1) and (3) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 hereby gives you Notice of its Intention to suspend the Interconnect Exchange License granted to your company due to your involvement in call masking and refiling and your failure to rectify the breach, despite repeated interventions by the Commission."

At this stage it is unclear how suspension of these licenses will affect their customers in Nigeria. At the time of publishing iAfrikan was still awaiting comment from the companies concerned and the NCC.

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