NCC’s Raid of Banks over Network Boosters: What Does this mean?

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NCC had queried 6 telcos over call masking before releasing its report

The Nigerian Communications Commission yesterday embark on a raid over the illegal use of network boosters.  The agency claimed that it raided banks across four locations in Lagos.

The big question then is: what are network boosters and why are they such an issue?

What are Network Boosters?

Telecom signals are not always consistent and that is a major worry for people. The solution then lies in the use of network boosters.

network boosters are used to boost telecom signals
network boosters are used to boost telecom signals

Network boosters are devices that can be used to boost (or improve) mobile network signal reception. Boosters are used within a limited space and can be used to get better network reception.

network boosters
This is how network boosters work

Network boosting devices have three tools within them that make them function like telecom spectrum masts (a really small and restricted telecom mast). One receives the signal, the other strengthens the signal, and the third acts like the mast: rebroadcasts the signal.

Within a small location, say a building, these devices amplify network signals and guarantee users of better reception. A handy tool, don’t you think?

Why Then Does the NCC Consider It illegal?

Unfortunately, the use of network boosting devices may have negative impacts on telecom signal within that location. Network boosters interfere with other radio frequency equipment in given locations of use.

In other words, network boosters amplify reception for a user, but it interferes with the network signal of other people within that location. So it’s not a very healthy tool to use.

network boosters are illegal
It is illegal to use network boosters in Nigeria

It is actually illegal to use network boosters in many parts of the world. In Nigeria, under Section 16 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act, 2004, using network boosters without a license is an offence. Boosters can only be used in conjunction with licensed network operators.

While raiding locations yesterday, the NCC said it received complaints that these devices were affecting 9Mobile’s service in these areas.

NCC raided the following places: Page Microfinance Bank, GMT Energy Resources, Club 57 and attempted to raid a private property. All four locations were at Ikoyi.

Fortunately, two of these places had already deactivated their devices. Meanwhile, the NCC confiscated the devices found at the Page Microfinance Bank and could not get access to the other private property.


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