By Ibiyemi Mathew
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a 14-day ultimatum to all the unauthorized operators on the 5.430 to 5.725GHz band to vacate and desist from further transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the band without authorization obtained from the NCC.
The telecoms regulator threatened to impose sanctions, including imprisonment, fine and confiscation of equipment being used by some companies and agencies of government to illegally occupy 5.4GHz frequency band. The 5.4GHz according to industry reports has less traffic through use and is capable of handling more traffic efficiently, hence it popularity.
The regulator named 63 entities, including agencies of government in states across the federation, six banks, and 55 telecoms and technology companies.
The identified companies operate in Akwa-Ibom; Benue; Cross River; Delta; Edo; Enugu; Imo; Kaduna; Kano; Lagos, and Oyo states.
The Commission, which addressed the document to all the unauthorised users, said the 5.4GHz band spanning 5.430-5.725GHz frequency range has been licensed in Nigeria. It stressed that transmission of signals or use of equipment in any form on the band without a frequency license obtained from the NCC is illegal.
Listed companies and agencies include Kaduna State Government House; Lagos Internal Revenue Service; Project E-Delta; DSS; Polaris Bank; First Bank; Access Bank; Union Bank; AB Microfinance Bank; Bet Naija; Orange Drug Limited; Churchgate; IPNX; Cobranet; Hyperia; NETCO; Computer Warehouse; Helios Tower; IHS; MainOne; Priority Communications; K-Kon; VDT, Swift Talk
Others are MTN, Globacom, Airtel; 9Mobile; Vodacom; Crust Resoources; Cyberspace; Nova Business Centre; Sky Link; Centre Point; Electronics Connections; E-Stream; Cobranet, among others.
In Akwa Ibom, those affected use 5.547GHz; Benue 5.489 to 5.584GHz; Cross River 5.5189 to 5.600GHz; Delta 5.5987 to 5.700GHz; Edo 5.601 to 5.6989GHz; Enugu 5.489 to 5.618GHz; Imo 5,489 to 5.612GHz.
Others are Kaduna 5.45 to 5.5GHz; Kano 5.6673 to 5.7107GHz; Lagos 5.6756 to 5.6978GHz, and Oyo 5.616 to 5.680GHz.
In the document signed by Henry Nkemadu, director, Public Affairs, NCC, those discovered to be using the band in the designated places are doing it illegally.
”Companies, government agencies; telecommunications service providers; private companies or any person(s) using this band in the designated places mentioned should note that it is a criminal offence pursuant to section 122 NCA, 2003 to operate in any frequency not duly assigned by the commission.
”The consequences of such act may lead to imprisonment, sanction and confiscation of equipment used in operating the illegal services,” NCC stated.
The commission added that a detailed regulatory provision for the deployment of services on the entire 5GHz band are contained in the Guidelines for deployment of broadband services on the 5.2-5.9GHz band, which is available on the commission’s website.