Technology Times has learnt that varying degree of sanctions including a 90-day traffic blockade may be imposed on interconnect companies allegedly involved in call masking in the Nigerian telecoms industry.
People conversant with the situation say the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may direct telecoms companies to block the affected companies from carrying traffic over the network of phone companies in the country.
Barring any last minute change of mind by the telecoms regulator, NCC is understood to have decided to impose varying degrees of penalties again six companies alleged to be implicated in the call masking activities.
Technology Times learnt that NCC may direct mobile network operators (MNOs) to block traffic routed via the some of the affected interconnect companies.
Despite initially talking tough, NCC may have decided to soften its stance of imposing tougher sanctions that may undermine the telecoms industry in Nigeria.
One of the options is a 90-day blockade that may be imposed against some of the companies allegedly implicated in the call masking clampdown by NCC.
NCC alleged that six companies were involved in the practice of using technologies that allow them terminate inbound international telecoms traffic as local calls, so they don’t have to pay International Termination Rate (ITR), which is the interconnection charges set by telecoms traffic carriers as carrier-to-carrier charges.
Six interconnect clearing companies, Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited; Medallion Communications Limited; Niconnx Communication Limited; Breeze Micro Limited; Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Limited, were alleged to have been implicated in call masking activities in Nigeria, according to NCC.