The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it will soon carry out enforcement against non-type approved telecom devices in the country, noting that such devices are a setback to the growth of Nigeria’s telecom industry.
The telecom regulator stated this yesterday at a one-day sensitization workshop on type-approved devices in Lagos.
“While we are here to sensitise and educate our licensees and other relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian telecom industry on the importance of type approval of telecoms equipment and other mobile and terminal devices, we also want to say we will soon start enforcement on non-type approved devices, according to the law,” said Bako Wakil, Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity (TSNI), NCC.
Wakil, who was represented by Toni Ikemefuna, Assistant Director, TSNI, stated the workshop is in continuation of its ceaseless efforts to effectively regulate the industry by ensuring that licensees comply with the extant industry type approval regulation, which overarching objective is to ensure industry interoperability, quality of service (QoS) and safety.
Discussions at the forum focused on sensitising the stakeholders to the need for type approval of telecom equipment (mobile or major), used by network operators in the deployment of services while also raising the red flag on inherent dangers associated with the use of non-type approved equipment and mobile devices imported by unscrupulous elements into the country.
According to Bako Wakil, type approval is one of the key regulatory functions of the Commission and a means through which NCC authenticates specifications, standards and conformity of telecom equipment for use in the Nigerian telecom industry.
He explained that type approval involves submitting a sample of telecom equipment or device to the Commission to ensure its conformity and interoperability within the country’s telecom ecosystem and to guarantee they are safe for use by the consumers.
He added stated that type approval is conducted, as a regulatory function, to ensure the safety of the lives of consumers as well as to safeguard telecom networks and ensure good quality of services (QoS) in the Nigerian telecom ecosystem.
While noting that conducting type-approval exercise is in compliance with the international standards, Wakil stated that different regions of the world have varying specifications and standards requirements on equipment for compatibility, seamless interoperability of networks and deployment of digital services.
Wakil, however, explained the adverse effect of the lack of a type approval process in any telecoms market. According to him, “the sales, installation and use of counterfeit, fake and substandard consumer telecom equipment such as mobile phones, tablets and other mobile accessories pose great risk to human health and safety and this underscores the importance of type approval of every equipment imported for use in Nigeria. The equipment also has the power to degrade QoS of our networks.”