NCC queries 6 telcos over call masking

…To suspend their licenses next month  

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) will next month suspend the operational licenses of six companies implicated for their involvement in call masking. 

The six companies had been issued queries by the commission on January 12 for their failure to desist from call masking.

Masked calling (or call masking) is a technique used to allow SMS to be sent or calls to be made to people without revealing the identity of the sender or caller.

Criminals, especially kidnappers, are using it to perpetrate their nefarious trade, though some eCommerce companies also use it to advertise.

A top government official told our reporter in Abuja yesterday that the companies were queried following the outcome of investigation by NCC to unmask those companies using call masking techniques to pass off incoming international telecoms traffic as local calls into Nigeria. 

A document obtained by Daily Trust from the official indicted six companies:  Medallion Communications Ltd, Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Ltd, Niconnx Communications Ltd, Breeze Micro Ltd, Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Ltd.

In a notice of suspension of licence letters jointly signed by NCC’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Service and Head of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Yetunde Akinloye and Efosa Idehen respectively, NCC said it had established direct and indirect evidence against the six companies “in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”.

One of the letters read in part “Having carefully analysed all the relevant data collected in the course of its investigation activities, the Commission has established a direct and indirect evidence against your company in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”.

“Consequently, the commission, pursuant to Section 45 (1) and (3) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 hereby gives you Notice of its Intention to suspend the Interconnect Exchange License granted to your company due to your involvement in call masking and refiling and your failure to rectify the breach, despite repeated interventions by the Commission”.    

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