The Nigerian Communications Commission, (NCC), has given a two-week ultimatum to people involved in the sale, installation, and use of the GSM boosting device, to forthwith desist from such act.
The NCC on its webpage particularly warned banks and other financial institutions, government agencies, telecommunications service providers, private/public companies, and owners/occupiers of residential premises, that the sale, installation, and usage of GSM boosters is illegal.
“In view of the above, the Commission hereby gives a 14-day PRE-ENFORCEMENT NOTICE effective from the date of this publication to any person involved in the sale, installation and use of the device, to forthwith desist from such act,” the notice warned.
Phone boosters, also known as GSM boosters, help cell phone users improve coverage in areas where there is not a good signal.
They are placed in homes or cars to increase the signal strength for cell phones, this allows users to complete calls in areas where they couldn’t previously.
The devices can help wireless service providers, public safety first responders, and consumers by extending cell phone coverage to areas including tunnels, subways, building interiors, and rural areas.
Although it helps boost the performance of phones, it can interfere with wireless networks that are improperly installed or poorly designed. This could cause interference to other calls, including emergency and 911 calls.
The NCC said, ”in exercise of its mandate of ensuring the protection of consumers, ensuring good quality of service and maintenance of technical standards of maintenance equipment, and in accordance with the provisions of section 131 (1) of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA) 2003, the Commission hereby warns the general public that it is a criminal offence to sell, install or use any equipment which may hinder network operations, or which has not been type-approved by the Commission.’
It said such acts may lead to monetary sanction and/or imprisonment, or both (fine and imprisonment) as well as the confiscation of any equipment used in the illegal enhancement of network coverage.
The commission said it would continue to deepen its collaborative efforts with telecoms service providers to facilitate the provision of ubiquitous telecoms infrastructure necessary to guarantee good quality of service across the nation.
“The Commission shall without further recourse and upon expiration of the deadline, commence appropriate enforcement action including, but not limited to prosecution, fine and confiscation of equipment used,” it said.
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