The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says it will suspend the licenses of six companies which it claims are involved in “call masking”.
According to a letter seen by TheCable and dated January 12, 2018, NCC said the affected companies had until January 31 to state why they should not be suspended.
Call masking is a technique used to hide numbers when making calls or sending messages.
In some cases, international numbers are masked with local numbers which are not charged, because the caller’s identity is completely hidden on the network.
In July, TheCable had reported that NCC gave telecommunications companies one week to end call masking.
“The commission has recently been inundated with complaints regarding the prevalence of call masking and refilling in the industry,” the letter addressed to the chief executive officer of Medallion Communications Limited read.
“Considering the economic and security implications of this development, the commission had vide its letter Ref: TSNI/GEN/VOL.4/115 dated July 19, 2017 directed relevant licensees to ensure the cessation of call masking or refilling activity on their respective networks. The deadline for compliance with this directive was July 28, 2017.
“Furthermore on August 3, 2017, at the stakeholders meeting organized by the commission which your company participated in, it was resolved that a comprehensive investigation would be carried out by the commission to determine the companies/licensees involved in the illegal act of call refilling and masking.
“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 milling.
“Consequently, the commission, pursuant to Section 45 (l) and (3) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 hereby gives you notice of its intention to suspend the Interconnect Exchange Licence granted to your company due to your involvement in call masking and milling and your failure to rectify the breach, despite repeated interventions by the commission.
“You are therefore required to state reasons why the commission should not suspend the said licence. We expect to receive your response on or before January 31, 2018.”
Other companies that received the letter are Interconnect Cleaning House Nigeria Limited, Niconnx Communication Limited, Breeze Micro Limited, Solid Interconnectivity, Exchange Telecommunications Limited.
Technology Times recently reported that NCC was probing call masking.