Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report
(Quarter 1 - 2019)
Monitoring Of Compliance With The Commission’s Direction On Routing Of A Minimum Of 10% Of Interconnect Traffic By Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) Through Interconnect Exchange Licencees
Pursuant to the directive that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and interconnection clearing houses should forward their monthly interconnect traffic to the Commission on monthly basis; the Commission received submissions from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) MTN, Airtel, EMTS, Globacom and Interconnect Clearing Houses (ICN, Breeze, Exchange Telecoms, Nicoon X) for the Quarter4, (i.e. October to December), 2018
Following the analysis of the report it was observed that only Globacom did not comply with the direction of routing at least 10% of their traffic to the Clearing Houses. Consequently, the Commission took appropriate action against them.
Compliance Monitoring Of Guidelines On Sim Replacement
Q1, 2019 Audit Exercise on Sim Replacement Guidelines in the Nigerian Telecoms Industry:
In view of the prevalence of complaints regarding illegal SIM Swap by fraudulent individuals in the telecoms market, the Commission established a Guideline for SIM Replacement which came into effect on 9th June, 2017.
Consistent with our mandate as enshrined in Section 89 of the NCA (2003), the Commission prepared a quarterly audit exercise of MNOs’ platforms with a view to ascertaining their level of compliance with the Commission’s Guideline on SIM Replacement. These requirements/procedures were fashioned out to safeguard subscriber’s identity from fraudulent activities of some criminal elements in the telecoms sector. The audit exercise is very critical in bringing to the barest minimum fraudulent cases of SIM Upgrade/Replacement which may lead to financial loss and security breaches in the country.
The exercise was conducted and the matter is being looked into by the relevant sections of the Commission.
Report Of Q1, 2019 Technical Audit Of Operators’ Performance Of The Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme
Consistent with CMED’s mandate to monitor all significant activities relating to the performance of all Stakeholders in the Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Scheme and given the need to ensure a seamless porting process with strict adherence to the MNP Regulations 2014 and the Business Rules & Port Order Processes, a technical audit team carried out a comprehensive compliance audit exercise of the MNP Platform from 12th – 14th March, 2019.
- To review the level of success NPC’s migration of the MNP Platform to its new technical partners, Porting Access Ltd,
- Conduct an in-depth review of planned/ unplanned technical faults that occurred within the period under review;
- Audit ‘Validation Responses (T2) & Deactivation Responses (T4)’ which have timelines of 2 hours and 1 hour respectively for the period under review;
- Review all port rejections by the Donor to ensure that these rejections are within the valid reasons for rejection in the MNP Business Rules;
- Review the current status of outstanding MNP fees owed to the NPC Administrator by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs);
- Review all Emergency Repatriations and ‘Return to Block Operator’ transactions for the past 5 months (i.e. October, 2018 – February, 2019).
Key Actions Taken
In view of findings from the Audit exercise, the Commission directed Mobile Network Operators to carry out the following:
- That Mobile Network Operators should ensure the fields for inputting MSISDN in porting request forms are only 10 digits. In addition, there is need for MNOs to educate and train front-end staff to ensure the correct donor network and MSISDN are specified before details are sent to NPC;
- That the MNP Industry Technical Working Group will discuss and impose a 45 day port restriction period for newly activated SIM cards;
- That Mobile Network Operators henceforth strictly comply with the conditions for ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ in line with Provisions of the MNP Business Rules, as well as the consequences for non-compliance;
- That Mobile Network Operators remove the power to carry out ‘Emergency Repatriations’ and ‘Return to Block Operator’ from their front end agents to mitigate the emerging trend of abuse of laid down processes and procedures;
In view of the relatively low amount of porting transactions, the Commission will carry out robust awareness campaigns to enlighten consumers on the availability of Mobile
Proposal To Organize Two Regional Stakeholders’ Parliaments In South East And North East Zones
The Proposal has been approved by Management and the events will be held at the respective zones in the second quarter of this year.
1st Quarter Meeting Of The Industry Working Group (Iwg) On Multiple Taxations/Regulations Held On Monday 14th March, 2019, Lagos
As you are aware, the IWG being a platform use by relevant stakeholders to deliberate quarterly on issues relating to multiple taxation and regulation in the telecom industry, held the 1st Quarter meeting on 14th March, 2019.
The meeting amongst others extensively deliberated on the following issues::
- The embargo placed on issuance of Right of Way permit to operators by LASIMRA;
- The incessant demand for payment of levies for certification from operators for building of new and existing BTS by NCAA;
- The continuous demand by state ministries of environment for EIA certification and payment against the provision of the EIA Act;
- The continuous demand from operators by some state agencies on environmental hazards etc.
After the deliberations, it was resolved as follows:
- That ALTON should reconcile their records, review all the NCAA laws and during their next meeting they should demand for evidence of payment of owners of high-rise buildings across the country with a view to strengthen its position against tax discrimination;
- That the Commission should invite the Director in charge of EIA from the Federal Ministry of Environment to its Regional Stakeholder Parliament on Multiple Taxation and regulation;
- That ALTON should review its position with respect to class action against State Government Agencies to avoid jurisdictional conflict;
- On embargo on RoW by LASIMRA: it was resolved that the Commission should write to the Lagos State Government for its intervention
Unauthorized Transmission On The 5.4GHz Frequency Band By Trefoil Network Limited
The Commission embarked on a site visit to Trefoil Network Limited (Trefoil) in Abuja following a presentation by the company on its application for a regional Private Network Link (PNL) license which it intends to deploy using the unlicensed 5GHz band. However, monitoring checks revealed that Trefoil was transmitting on the licensed 5.4GHz band for its Internet service provision. A pre-enforcement notice was sent to Trefoil accordingly. In its response letter dated March 5th, 2019, it informed the Commission that it had vacated and desisted from the licensable portion of the band.
Enforcement Action Against Illegal Users Of 5.4GHz Frequency Band Causing Interference On IPNX Nig. Ltd Network
The Enforcement Unit had received a referral from Spectrum Administration Department regarding a complaint of frequency interference assigned to ipNX Nigeria Limited (ipNX) on the 5.4GHz band affecting its services in Abuja, Kano, Lagos Ibadan and Port Harcourt.
Based on the above, the Commission issued Pre-enforcement notices to the affected companies to vacate the frequency band on or before March 10, 2019. Following the notices, some companies notified the Commission of their compliance, while others failed to respond. Consequently, the Commission carried out an enforcement action against the illegal usage of 5.4GHz in Kano on March 12th, 2019 and in Lagos on March 26th, 2019 respectively to verify the claims by the companies/operators. The Companies visited in Kano were found to have vacated the 5.4GHz band causing interference following the pre-enforcement notice sent to them as well as previous newspaper publications.
Furthermore, the exercise in Lagos had three (3) companies still in violation and subsequently were enforced against. Recovered items included 2 SDR Radio antennas and 2 Power over Ethernet (PoE) Power Packs in the operation and thereby successfully shut down the offending radios.
Unilateral Disconnection Of Exchange Telecommunications Limited By Airtel Networks Limited
Airtel Networks Ltd having contravened, the provisions of the Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations 2013 and Enforcement Processes Regulations, 2005 by disconnecting Exchange Telecommunications Limited without the Commission’s approval was sanctioned on March 28, 2019 to pay the sum of ₦121, 000,000 to the Commission.
Contravention Of The Direction On Do Not Disturb (DND) By 9Mobile (EMTS) And Airtel
In the course of monitoring compliance with the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) Direction, the Commission discovered that EMTS & Airtel subscribed and billed 13 and 56 MSISDNs respectively on full DND to Value Added Service (VAS) in the contravention of the DND Direction.
Following this discovery and subsequent correspondence with the licensees in which both claimed to have had technical/software challenges and to have disconnected the affected MSISDNs, the Commission rejected their responses and consequently sanctioned both EMTS and Airtel ₦5, 000,000 each on February 26th & 27th, 2019 respectively for breach of the Direction.
NCC Approval To Allow Resumption Of Traffic With Solid Interconnectivity Service Limited
In consideration of responses received from Solid Interconnect which includes the renewal of its Interconnect Exchange (IEX) license, the Commission via a letter dated January 17, 2019 directed Globacom to reconnect Solid Interconnect and allow the routing of traffic. However, the Commission received a letter from Solid Interconnectivity stating that notwithstanding approval by the Commission, Globacom is delaying the process of re-establishing interconnection with its network. In view of the foregoing, a pre-enforcement notice dated March 5, 2019 was issued to Globacom directing it to reconnect solid and allow the routing of traffic on or before March 15, 2019.
Inspection Of Unknown Fibre Optic Cable At Victoria Island, Lagos
The Commission received a letter from NAIRDA Limited notifying the Commission of a fiber optic cable causing an obstruction at the company’s construction site at Victoria Island, Lagos. Following the report, all the MNOs and Metropolitan Cable Network Operators were contacted; but no one claimed ownership of the said cable. In this regard, NAIRDA sought the Commission’s consent to relocate the cable at no cost to the Commission.
However, 21st century Technologies Ltd, claimed ownership of the cable and have engaged NAIRDA on steps taken to relocate the cable.
Complaint On Automatic Renewal Of Data Subscription
The Commission received a complaint on automatic renewal of data subscription by 9Mobile on MSISDN (08024211885). The complaint was investigated and found 9mobile to have breached the Direction on Automatic Renewal of Data subscription. In its response, 9mobile attributed that the breach was as a result of previously undetected and isolated failure on its data subscription platform, which was not acceptable by the Commission. Based on the foregoing, a notice of sanction dated March 19, 2019 was sent to 9mobile for the sum ₦5, 001, 000.00 (Five Million One Thousand Naira only)
Enforcement Against Licensees Operating With Expired License
The Commission carried out Enforcement exercises against Licensees operating with expired licences in Lagos, Kano, Jigawa and Rivers States.
Lagos:Xnet Security Technologies Limited was enforced against, and office sealed. Following the exercise, the Company paid Six Hundred Thousand Naira (₦600, 000.00) as part payment of its AOL in the sum of ₦2,400, 000:00 and to spread the remaining payment over six months.
Jigawa:Galaxy Wireless had an outstanding spectrum fees and National Numbering plan fees of ₦3.85 Million, in this regard the company was enforced against on March 6th, 2019. However, due to their involvement in providing services for the Jigawa State Government, the company sort the intervention of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who requested a stay of action for 2 weeks for them to make payment of their obligations.
Arising from the enforcement, the Company informed the Commission on Tuesday, 12th March, 2019 that it had paid in full the outstanding fees.
Kano: Ihsan Hajara Ltdby a letter dated September 21, 2018 requested the Commission to suspend its license while Electronic Connections Ltd forwarded the document requested by the Commission i.e. audited financial account for the years ended 2016, 2017 and 2018. Therefore, they were exempted from the enforcement action. While the office of Aurora Wireless Ltd was locked and consequently could not be enforced against.
Rivers:Simultaneously, on March 6th, 2019, another enforcement team visited Atlantic Geodynamics Nigeria (Atlantic Fluid Services) Limited in Port-Harcourt for failing to fulfil its outstanding obligation since 2017. It was observed that the company no longer carried out ISP services. The company claimed it had written to inform the Commission in 2017 of its closure and also had correspondences with the Commission regarding their AOL obligation in October, 2018 but were yet to receive a response from the Commission. Consequently, radio antennas were disconnected going by its claim of stopping the ISP service. The Company was also requested to respond to the pre-enforcement notice dated December 12th, 2018.
Regional Sensitization Workshop On The Dangers Of Patronising Fully Activated Sim Cards
The Commission is organizing a sensitization workshop on the dangers of patronizing fully activated SIM cards in the six (6) geopolitical zones. The workshop kicked off on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 in Lagos, which had in attendance the major MNOs and their respective vendors.
Status Update On Enforcement Exercise On Sim Card Registration Outside Controlled Environment
The Commission received update on the status of the enforcement action in respect of SIM card registration outside a controlled environment in Gombe, Gombe State. It was reported that 2 persons were convicted for a period of 6 months each, while one person was released on bail and one person was acquitted by the Court.
Globacom’s Outstanding Obligations
The Commission on December 24, 2018 issued a pre-enforcement notice to Globacom Limited in respect of its outstanding financial obligations to the Commission i.e. National Numbering Plan Fee, Spectrum Fee, Annual Operating Levy (AOL) Fee and a deadline of March 31st, 2019 to pay the outstanding obligations. Following the notice, the unit received a memo from Licensing & Authorization with regards to application for renewal/upgrade of Digital Mobile License (DML) to Unified Access Service License (UASL) by Globacom. However Globacom is yet to settle its obligations with the Commission. Consequently, a memo was written to management for approval to carry out enforcement action against Globacom for failure to fulfil its outstanding obligations at the expiration of the March 31st, 2019 deadline.
NATCOM’s Outstanding Obligations
The Commission on January 10, 2019 issued a pre-enforcement notice to NATCOM Development & Investment Ltd (NATCOM) in respect of its outstanding financial obligations to the Commission i.e. National Numbering Plan Fee, Spectrum Fee, Annual Operating Levy (AOL) Fee and a deadline of March 31st, 2019 to pay the outstanding obligations.
Re: Mitigating Incidence Of Pre- Registratation Of Sim Card By 9Mobile
9mobile updated the Commission on the additional steps taken to deal with the incidence of illicit registration/activation and sales of SIM cards by some of their agents. A list of one hundred and thirty six (136) blacklisted/deactivated 9mobile SIM registration agents was forwarded to the Commission. The blacklisted agents were sorted out according to States/LGA basis and circulated to other MNOs.