Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report
(Quarter 3 - 2020)
COMPLAINCE MONITORING OF ANNUAL OPERATING LEVY (AOL)
PAYMENT OF AOL AND SUBMISSION OF AUDITED ACCOUNTSThe Commission has commenced the review of the list of licensees who are either owing Annual Operating Levy (AOL) or in breach of the submission of their audited accounts in compliance with the provisions of the Commission’s Annual Operating Levy Regulations, 2014.
Presently, about thirty Five (35) licensees have been identified in this regard and pre-enforcement notices sent to them accordingly. Enforcement actions will follow on any licensee that remains non-complaint on expiration of the pre-enforcement notice.
Meanwhile, Information Connectivity Solutions Limited (ICSL) is in default in payment of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) for the years 2016 to 2018 in addition to failure to submit its Audited accounts for 2019. The company was given 15th September, 2020 deadline to make all submissions or face enforcement action.
RENEWAL OF LICENCEMessrs. Koasen Nigeria Limited (Koasen)application to the Commission to discontinue its Automated Vehicle Tracking Services (AVTS) has been declined for non-payment of its Annual Operating Levy (AOL). However, the company has made part payment on receipt of pre-enforcement notice while committing to settle the outstanding balance at the end of September 2020 to facilitate further review and finalization of its application.
GLOBACOM’S OUTSTANDING OBLIGATIONS TO THE COMMISSIONMessrs. Globacom Nigeria Limited has been directed to clear all outstanding financial obligations to the Commission with respect to spectrum fees, Digital Mobile License fees, AOL and all other fines on or before 22nd September, 2020 or face appropriate enforcement actions including withdrawal of regulatory services.
Globacom is also in breach of the provisions of the Commission’s AOL Regulation 2014 especially with respect to submission of its audited accounts for the years ended 2018 and 2019.
COMMENCEMENT OF BIG BROTHER NAIJA 2020 WITHOUT REGULARIZATION WITH THE COMMISSIONThe Commission’s attention was drawn to the commencement of promos on “Big Brother Naija 2020” TV programme without proper regularization by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two (2) agencies.
Mobile network operators were therefore directed to stop all promotions with respect to the Big Brother Naija programme that do not have approval of both NLRC and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC). It is pertinent to note that the Commission as a regulator, frowns at flagrant abuse of extant laws and regulations especially given its statutory responsibility to ensure strict regulatory compliance.
SIM REPLACEMENT AUDITThe fourth quarter (Q4) 2019 SIM Replacement Audit conducted in first quarter (Q1) 2020, showed that Messrs. Globacom, MTN, 9Mobile and Airtel, are not in full compliance with the SIM Replacement Guideline, 2017. Consistent with our regulatory practice, Notices of Sanction were issued to the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to show reason(s) why appropriate regulatory sanctions should not be imposed for the violations.
However, following extensive review of their respective responses, the MNOs were sanctioned as follows:
- Airtel was sanctioned Three Million and Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (₦3,250,000.00) for 13 infractions.
- Globacom was sanctioned Nine Million and Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (₦9,250,000.00) for 37 infractions.
- MTN was given an additional deadline of seven (7) days to provide the data on 37 SIM swaps. However, MTN was unable to provide the information on 24 MSISDNs and was sanctioned in the sum of Six Million Naira only (₦6,000,000.00) being penalty of ₦250,000.00 each in respect of 24 (twenty-four) infractions.
- EMTS was given strong warning given the fact that the infractions were very negligible.
DEACTIVATION OF INVALID SIM REGISTRATION DATAFollowing the Enforcement Exercise carried out in February 2020, Messrs. Globacom Ltd and EMTS Ltd were found to be non-compliant with the Commission’s Direction to deactivate SIMs that were not properly registered from the pool of pre-2016 MSISDNs. Consequently, Globacom and EMTS were fined One Billion, One Hundred and Forty Six Million and Four Hundred Thousand Naira Only (₦1,146,400,000.00) and One Hundred and Ninety Five Million, Two Hundred Thousand Naira (₦195,200,000.00) respectively.
INTERFERENCE ON 5.4 GHZ FREQUENCY IN NNEWI AND ONITSHA, ANAMBRA STATEThe Commission is in liaison with the Executive Governor of Anambra State and other relevant stakeholders in respect of the reported cases of interference on EMTS assigned 2100MHz frequency band in Nnewi and Onitsha, Anambra State.
MTN, GLO 9Mobile, Airtel, ATC and IHS, have been asked to undertake the following activities and report to the Commission by 30, September 2020:
- Review their network operations, optimize network coverage and schedule necessary capacity enhancements to discourage the use of GSM signal boosters to augment weak signals;
- Carry out sensitization and awareness campaigns at the Nnewi Spare Parts and Head Bridge Markets on the effects of network boosters on QoS and QoE.
ROUTING OF 10% INTERCONNECT TRAFFIC BY OPERATORSThe Report of the Compliance Audit conducted from January to June 2020 revealed that Globacom failed to meet the regulatory direction to route 10% of its interconnect traffic through Interconnect exchange providers. A Pre-Enforcement Notice has been sent by the Commission to Globacom accordingly.
It is pertinent to recall that Globacom was sanctioned One Hundred and Ninety-Five Million Naira (₦195,000,000.00) for failure to meet the October 2017 to December 2019 interconnect traffic requirement. Globacom request to the Commission for a reconsideration of the sanction was stood down as no justifiable material evidence was provided. Globacom was given up to 30th September, 2020 to pay up the fine accordingly.
Q1, 2020 AUDIT OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DO NOT DISTURB (DND) FACILITY BY MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS (MNO)The Q1, 2020 audit of implementation of the Do-Not-Disturb (DND) facility, revealed that four (4) MNOs were in breach of the DND Direction for failure to block unsolicited messages to 1,583 MSISDN and failure to ensure full compliance with the 12 hour period (8am - 8pm) allowed for sending messages as specified in the Direction.
The audit exercise revealed that 7,172 SMS were sent to 204 subscribers outside the allowed time window.
Consequently, the Commission in its letter dated 1st September , 2020 issued a strong warning and directed MNOs to refund all monies deducted from the subscribers for forcefully subscribing them to unsolicited services, after requesting to opt in to the DND service.
The Commission is at various levels of discussion with the affected MNOs to ensure that appropriate remedial actions are taken to optimum quality of experience on the networks.
INVESTIGATION OF GLO SERVICES VENTURES LIMITED AND GLOBACOM LIMITEDA pre-enforcement notice has been issued to Globacom Limited for operating telecommunications service through a subsidiary company; Glo Services Ventures Limited without regulatory authorization in breach of Section 31 of the Nigerian Communications Act (NCA), 2003.
Globacom has been requested to show cause why Glo Services Ventures Limited should not be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of NCA, 2003.
REVIEW OF THE COMMISSION’S DIRECTION ON END OF CALL NOTIFICATION (EOCN) 2012 WITH RESPECT TO DATA SERVICEFollowing observed changes in consumer behavior and pattern, the Commission has initiated the processes of modifying the Direction on End-of-Call Notifications (EOCN) to include Daily Utilisation Notifications for data services. This is aimed at introducing more transparency in billing for data services and ensure increased billing integrity and consumer confidence in the networks.
The modification will provide that MNOs create a platform that will enable consumers:
- Monitor their data usage;
- Carry out independent speed tests on their devices;
- View important Tips/FAQs on how to manage data usage on their handsets;
- View their data or voice consumptions (CDR) over a given period of time;
- Set data limits and thresholds on their data subscription.