Regulator: Nigeria’s call masking spiked from October 2016

Regulator: Nigeria’s call masking spiked from October 2016

Regulator: Nigeria’s call masking spiked from October 2016

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Call masking spiked from October 2016 following Nigeria’s decision to review international termination rates (ITR) to N2.40, the telecoms industry regulator has said, promising to fish out the culprits behind the activities.

Professor Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission  (NCC), gave the insight amidst efforts underway by the telecoms agency to curb what has been termed as posing “great security challenges and economic sabotage to the industry.”

The nation’s telecoms watchdog on September 16, 2016 reviewed the termination rate for international inbound traffic from N3.90 per minute to N24.40 per minute saying that this interim rate will be operated pending the conclusion of the study of the Determination of Cost Based Pricing for Mobile Voice Termination Rates in Nigeria.

Danbatta disclosed this to attendees at meeting held July 16 between the House Committee on Financial Crimes and NCC Management to to address the Call Masking, Call Refiling and Sim Boxing problems faced in the telecoms industry.

The nation’s telecoms watchdog on September 16, 2016 reviewed the termination rate for international inbound traffic from N3.90 per minute to N24.40 per minute saying that this interim rate will be operated pending the conclusion of the study of the Determination of Cost Based Pricing for Mobile Voice Termination Rates in Nigeria.

A Federal Government investigation is underway to unmask companies using “call masking” techniques to pass off incoming international telecoms traffic as local calls into Nigeria.

The NCC chief said that “there has been growing levels of call masking and refiling from October 2016 to June, 2017, following the implementation of the reviewed ITR to N24.40.”

Danbatta further explained that due to the implications of the phenomenon to the industry and security of the nation, NCC “has since taken drastic monitoring, compliance and enforcement measures and charged the Technical Standards and Network Integrity Department at the Commission to uncover the networks behind the crime.”

According to him, NCC collaborated with different stakeholders and security agencies and have had series of meetings that “led to the suspension of six interconnect exchange licences in 2017.”

Also speaking on the issue, Efosa Idehen, Director Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC says that to combat call masking, the agency’s Legal and Regulatory Services Department is working on the issuance of Direction to mobile network operators to use every technical means not to allow their networks to be used for call masking and SIM boxing activities.

Through its Public Affairs and Consumer Affairs Bureau Departments, NCC is using available channels to deepen awareness on the NCC’s actions, get stakeholders buy-in and get as many MSISDN records for further investigation and enforcement actions.

The agency also said that it is stepping up continuous compliance, monitoring and enforcement activities “to detect victims of call masking and investigation of channels used to commit the illegality.”

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Comment(1)

  1. You can improve on this story by adding a paragraph or two about how call masking and sim boxing works. Who might need it. Why was the tariff raised? How does it compare with others? Etc.

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