NCC warns against illegal use of Radio Frequency Jamming devices in Nigeria

The Nigerian Communications Commission  (NCC) has said that it is illegal to sell, install or use in Nigeria any Radio Frequency (RF) Jamming device without its authorization.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day capacity building/workshop for ICT journalists in Lagos, Engineer Austine Nwaulune, director, Spectrum Administration at NCC lamented the spray in radio frequency jammers usage in churches, mosques, hotels and other social outlets, especially without the permission of the Regulator.

He said that the effect is evident in the low quality of service (QoS) which has become topical in the industry in recent time, particularly, polarizing the Regulator, operators and telecom subscribers in the country.

He said, “These devices are illegal to sell, install or use in Nigeria without authorisation from the Commission and have been found to be used by Hotels, Security operatives, Courts, Religious institutions to prevent the operation of phone devices in their premises and areas of security concerns.

“They contribute to degrade the QoS in the areas they are deployed and could affect a large area depending on the range and transmit power of the jammer.

“Like any radio transmitter they can radiate beyond the intended perimeter of coverage.

The use is prohibited by extant laws of the country”.

He warned the perpetrators to obtain permission from the Commission, desist from the act or face full wrath of the law, adding that NCC is unrelenting on its responsibilities to monitor the trend.

Radio Frequency (RF) Jammers are devices used to disrupt or prevent communication via a broadcasted RF signal.

“Individual towers partition cities into small sections called cells. As a cell phone user traverses the cells in an area, the signal is passed from tower to tower.

Jamming devices take advantage of this fact by transmitting on the spectrum of radio frequencies used by cellular devices.

Through its concurrent transmission, the jamming device is able to disrupt the two-way communication between the phone and the base station. This form of a denial-of-service attack inhibits all cellular communication within range of the device.

Thus, “Radio jamming is the (usually deliberate) transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal to noise ratio”.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had established National & International Frequency Coordination, that is a technical and regulatory process which is intended to remove or mitigate radio-frequency interference between different radio systems which utilize the same operational frequency.

International coordination is carried out through Intergovernmental treaties in line with coordination procedures in the Radio Regulations of the ITU.

NCC’s powers are drawn from its enabling Act 2003 in Nigeria and as a national coordination under ITU to undertaken by spectrum regulators/operators within an administration to ensure coexistence between inter and intra service users of the spectrum.

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