Why NCC is disconnecting fake and stolen phones

Eberechukwu Etike
*…the regulator will use the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI), a unique identifier assigned to each device
NIN

Using the Device Management System (DMS), a technology solution that will allow the telecoms regulator disconnect any phone classified as stolen, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), is finalising preparations to disconnect all networks in the country from phony and counterfeit phones.

In order to do this, the regulator will use the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI), a unique identifier assigned to each device, that will register the device instantly as soon as it is connected.

According to the project’s Information Memorandum (IM), per a Nairametrics report, the DMS solution will allow the NCC track, supervise, and secure the country’s telecommunications industry. It will also serve as a single interface for mobile and network device management.

While the process has begun, the NCC points out that the project must be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) before final implementation.

From the NCC desk

NCC

A significant number of counterfeit ICT gadgets has infiltrated the global markets, including Nigeria, NCC noted in explaining the solution’s deployment in Nigeria. The spread of these devices raises issues about national security, performance, service quality, and potential income losses for all stakeholders, according to the report.

As a result, ITU Member States, particularly those in developing nations, have called for actions taken to address the issue, especially mitigating the consequences.

Counterfeit mobile devices offer a security and health danger to consumers, as well as financial threats to the counterfeited brand. Many important security concerns about counterfeit electronic devices arise in the context of Boko Haram in Nigeria and other terrorist organisations employing cloned cell phones, the Commission noted.

What DMS is

The DMS is a form of central remote management software used to detect, control, and secure mobile devices that are distributed across a country’s multiple mobile service providers and operating systems.


The DMS system will offer a single outlet for telecom devices, giving access to the NCC to detect illegal or substandard devices that are not allowed on the Nigerian telecommunications network long in advance.

NCC goal

One of the goals of the NCC is to implement this DMS system under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) framework. This private partner would set up, run, and maintain a DMS for Nigeria’s estimated 200 million telecommunications users.


In Nigeria’s telecommunications industry, the DMS is envisioned to be able to combat the growth of fraudulent, counterfeit, defective, and cloned mobile devices.


The DMS will also allow NCC collect International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) data and incorporate it into the type approval process, effectively blacklisting and rendering inoperable stolen, unlawful mobile phones and other smart devices.

This approach is expected to prevent cell phone theft, safeguard consumers’ interests, and improve national security.


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