Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report
(Quarter 3 - 2017)
Physical Enforcement Action On Sale Of Pre-Registered SIM Cards
The Commission had carried out physical enforcement action on July 5th - 6th 2017 and August 8th – 10, 2017 in Jigawa and Bauchi States respectively.
Arising from the enforcement exercise at different locations in Dutse and Bauchi States viz:- Hakimi Street/New Market, Dutse, Jigawa State & Kasuwar Container (Wunti Market), Yelwan Tudu Market, Sabuwar Kasuwa Railway, Muda Lawal Market and Gwalameji and Azare town in Bauchi State, a total of 14 suspects were arrested in connection with sale of improperly registered and fully activated SIM Cards. Investigation has been concluded in Jigawa State and charges has been preferred against the suspects while investigation is ongoing in Bauchi State.
The Commission also recovered many SIM Cards from the suspects, during the exercise and is considering the imposition of administrative fine against affected operators whose SIM Cards are involved.
Sanctions Against Two Operators For Breaches On The Commission’s Direction On Do –Not- Disturb (DND)
Following the breach of the Direction on Do Not Disturb, the Commission had imposed administrative fine of N5, 000, 000. 00 (Five Million Naira) each against MTN Ltd and EMTS Ltd (9Mobile). The fine was fully paid by the affected Operators within the stipulated deadline.
Physical Enforcement Action Against Illegal AVTS Operators
Following a routine compliance monitoring exercise carried out by the Commission, the activity of some illegal Automated Vehicular Tracking Service (AVTS) providers were uncovered in Lagos leading to a physical enforcement action against identified operators.
The enforcement action which was carried out on 15-16 August, 2017 in Lagos led to the shutting down of the activities of four (4) Companies viz: - SMART-GTECH VEHICLE TRACKING, STREAMCOM CONCEPT LTD, BEST- SCHOOL MOTORING NIGERIA LIMITED & TOTAL PROTECTION SOLUTIONS LIMITED.
While the Commission is reviewing their cases, some of the companies have since commenced regularization processes.
Compliance Monitoring Of The Activties Of Value Added Services (VAS) Providers
The Commission carried out the following compliance monitoring activities on Value Added Service providers:
Broadcast of Unsolicited Text Messages Through Use of Allocated Short Code by Symbiotic Limited:
Consistent with section 89 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 which mandates the Commission to monitor all significant matters relating to the performance of all licensees, we discovered during our monitoring activities that short code: 48337 allocated to Symbiotic Limited was being used for broadcasting unsolicited text messages on Globacom network. Further investigations revealed that the subscriber receiving the unsolicited messages is on full Do Not Disturb (DND).
Consequently, a meeting was held with Symbiotic Limited and Globacom on 10th August, 2017. After deliberations, the meeting arrived at the following resolutions:
- All services on affected MSISDNs should immediately be discontinued;
- Symbiotic Infotech Nigeria Limited should provide evidence of subscription of affected MSISDN to Guiness Records Services;
- Symbiotic Infotech Nigeria Limited should provide a list of all subscribers on bundle packs between the months of June and July, 2017. This list should clearly indicate the mode, date and time of subscription and should be made available to the Commission in soft (excel format) and hard copies;
- Going forward, subscribers should expressly elect to opt-in to a service before subscribing them and silence/lack of response should not be taken as consent.
Alleged unauthorized Subscription to MTN Backup Service
The Commission received a complaint from an MTN network subscriber with MSISDN No. 08069339933 regarding unauthorized subscription to “BACKUP” service. Details of the complaints are as follows;
- That she never subscribed to the said service and all attempts to opt-out of the service did not work and subscriber was billed fifty naira weekly;
- That she has been locked-in to this service against her wish and continuously charged;
- That all attempts to resolve the issue through MTN Customer Call Centre were to no avail.
Consequently, the Commission directed MTN to provide detailed explanations in addition to evidence that:
- This subscriber subscribed to “BACKUP” service;
- The opt-out facility for this service works at all times;
- The subscriber gave her authorization for the renewal of this service at the various dates when the service expired and was renewed.
Furthermore, MTN was directed to discontinue the provision of this service to the subscriber forthwith and provide evidence/explanations to the above with the subscribers Call Data Record (CDR) from 1st May – 23rd August, 2017.
The Commission has also set up compliance monitoring team to carry out an audit on VAS/MNOs platforms/networks with respect to subscriptions of consumers to various VAS services without their consents. The team would also ascertain the prevalent mode of subscriptions to address the incidences of forceful subscriptions.
Monitoring Of The Commission’s Approved Tariff
The Commissions attention was drawn to the E-Top Up 8x Bonus by Globacom Limited.
According to the advertised promotion, Glo gave its subscribers 800% bonuses of the recharge amount while recharging via E Top-up.
The Commission’s investigations confirmed that Globacom 8x bonus was below the floor price of N6.6/minute and in addition the subscriber received additional 101 (On-net minutes) for recharging N101 using E top-up.
Further checks revealed that Globacom did not obtain any approval for the tariff and therefore the matter forwarded for an enforcement action in view of the breach of the Commission’s floor price for mobile termination rate.
Regulatory Interventions : Commission Facilitates Meeting Between The Federal Ministry Of Works (FMW) And National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) To Resolve Multiple Collection Of Fees On Right Of Way
During the period under review, the Commission facilitated a major regulatory intervention meeting between the Federal Ministry of Works and the National Inland Waterways Authority regarding complaints from telecommunications service providers on multiple collection of fees for Right of Way (RoW).
NIWA had issued a stop work-order against ongoing deployment of optic fibre cable along Lokoja- Itobe and Otukpo Bridge by some telecommunication service providers for failure to pay for right of way/permit which had been collected by FWM.
Despite the confirmation by the Federal Ministry of Works’ confirmation of payment by the telecom service providers, NIWA refused to vacate the Stop - work- Order as it claims to be empowered by its establishing laws to be entitled to payment of right of way as well.
Given the negative impact of the stop work order on the unhindered deployment of telecoms infrastructure necessary to provide service across the country and to address the issue of quality of service, it was imperative for the Commission to facilitate a meeting between these contending government agencies with a view to resolving the issues.
The meeting was held on 17th August 2017 with the following key resolutions:
- That the contending parties should articulate a position paper wherein identifiable conflicting provisions will be highlighted for the attention of their various ministry with a view to inducing possible amendment/harmonization;
- That pending the outcome of negotiations, NIWA shall continue to issue demand notices to operators without enforcement action until after six (6) months starting from 18th August, 2017;
- That NIWA shall not obstruct, stop or hinder the deployment/ construction/ installation of telecom infrastructure during the pendency of the above mention period;
- That the Commission as an arbiter should persuade the Minister of Communication to use his good office to bring the two ministers (Transport and Works, Power and Housing) together to hasten negotiation on these resolutions;