An ongoing monitoring exercise by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has revealed that SIM Box operators are responsible for incidences of call masking in telecommunications system.
Nigeria: NCC sanctions telcos and bars 750k numbers for call masking; Tony Ojobo, NCC's Director Public Affairs, said the sanctioned entities were found to be directly and indirectly involved in several infractions https://t.co/FUmt5HKX1b
— Thomas Barmueller (@TBarmueller) March 5, 2018
This is coming after the NCC has placed sanctions and warnings on perceived culprits, Interconnect Clearing houses, which did not seem to yield any result. Speaking on the issue is Mr. Efose Idehen, head, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, NCC, he said,
We have identified SIM Box operators as being responsible for call masking currently going on in the industry.
According to The Guardian, Idehen explained that the , He also stated that the situation is made possible because of the small difference between international call termination rate and national call termination rate.
Reacting to the issue, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman, Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said that the current stand of the commission have raised eyebrows on its integrity as it has previously sanctioned some operators for being behind call masking and now blaming another group when the problem did not stop.
I have said several times that sanctions do not solve problems. What has happened in this situation is that NCC may have sanctioned the right people in the wrong way, they need address this problem by identifying those really behind it, if international and national call termination rates are induce factor, it can be reviewed to address it.
What is SIM-Boxing?
SIM-boxing involves using a device (SIM box) as part of a VoIP gateway installation in order to minimize the maintenance expenses in the network interconnect (connecting from one local/international network to another). It is also used in preventing a SIM from being blocked. This act is fraudulent as it could cost the country financial loss.
It Is high time the telecommunications regulatory agency stepped up. It should begin proper investigation into the issue and get the operators involved in these masking activities. The NCC needs to also ensure that proper enforcement and sanctions are in place to correct the practice.
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