Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report
(Quarter 1 - 2018)
Compliance Monitoring Of Value Added Services (VAS)
Request For Information On VAS Subscription Methods - Following several complaints from Telecoms Subscribers on the incidences of forceful subscription of Value Added Services by VAS Providers without the explicit authorization of the subscriber, the Commission directed MNOs to provide a list of all value added services and their VAS Providers that are using some subscription methods currently on their network.
We have received submissions from 9Mobile, MTN & Airtel and currently evaluating the submissions.
Unauthorized Subscription To Value Added Services - 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 observed during our monitoring activities that five (5) VAS Providers subscribed some telecoms subscribers to some value added services without due authorization. The affected Service Providers have been directed to explain why they subscribed consumers without their consent.
Compliance Monitoring On Advert And Promotion
Confirmation Of Approval Status: 9mobile ZTE Mf910 4G Mifi Promotion - Confirmation Of Approval Status: 9mobile ZTE Mf910 4G Mifi Promotion - The attention of the Commission was drawn to the ‘ZTE MF910 4G mifi promotional offer being carried out by 9mobile. According to information obtained from the website of 9mobile customers who purchase a 9mobile ZTE MF910 4G mifi device at N18, 800 will enjoy 10GB free data valid for 30 days. Accordingly, we carried out compliance checks in line with the Commission’s Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions. Having confirmed that the promotion has not been approved by the Commission, it was recommended that 9Mobile be sanctioned for the violation.
Monitoring Of Compliance With The Commission’s Direction On Routing Of A Minimum Of 10% Of Interconnect Traffic By Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) Through Interconnect Exchange Licencees
Review of January 2018 Report - Pursuant to the directive that Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Interconnect Connect Clearing Houses should forward their monthly interconnect traffic to the Commission on/before 10th of the preceding month. This is to facilitate our compliance monitoring with the direction issued in April 2009 that all operators pass a minimum of 10% of their inter –operator traffic through certified Interconnect Exchange Licensees anywhere the Interconnect Exchange Licensees are located.
Following review of the report for January 2018, identified violations have been forwarded to our Enforcement Unit for further action.
Request for intervention against Kogi State Fire Agency - The attention of the Commission was drawn by IHS Nigeria Limited against Kogi State Fire Agency for demanding from the operator safety charges for protecting lives of the Kogi citizens. The operator had further informed the Commission that they have responded to the agency rejecting the charges as illegal and not connected to telecoms operation. Consequently, we have reviewed the letter together with the response. We have requested IHS to keep us updated on further development on the matter.
Request for intervention against Enugu State Waste Management Authority - The attention of the Commission has been drawn by IHS Nigeria Limited against the Enugu State Waste Management Authority for demanding from the them payment for effluent discharge permit fee. The operator had further informed the Commission that they have responded to the authority describing the charges as unconstitutional arguing that the issue of environment as it relates to telecoms falls within the exclusive legislative list. Hence, beyond legislative duties of the state. We have acknowledged receipt and further requested IHS to keep us posted on development on the case as it unfolds.
Request for regulatory intervention against Cross River State Infrastructure Safety and Regulatory Agency (CRISRA) - The attention of the Commission was also drawn by IHS Nigeria Limited against Cross River State Infrastructure Safety and Regulatory Agency (CRISRA)for demanding from the them evidence of permits and approvals in the state to enable the agency carry out audit of communications infrastructure. The operator had further informed the Commission that they have responded by referring the agency to the State Ministry of Town Planning for its record. Similarly, we have acknowledged receipt and further requested IHS to keep us updated on further development on the matter.
Telecoms Industry Stakeholders Forum with Lagos State Safety Commission - The Commission received an invitation to attend to the Telecoms Industry Stakeholders Forum organized by the Lagos State Safety Commission on Wednesday, March 7, 2018. However, the invite was not received until March 13, 2018, as such, we were unable to attend the meeting. Accordingly, a letter was forwarded to Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) requesting them to furnish the Commission with a report on the outcome of the meeting.
Compliance Monitoring Of License Conditions
Q1, 2018 Compliance Monitoring Of Value Added Services (VAS) - In line with CMED's 2017 Action Plan, we obtained Management's approval to carry out Q1, 2018 Compliance monitoring exercise focusing on 28 Value Added Service Licensees. During the period under review, the Commission received the following submissions from Licensees visited during the exercise:
- Trium Networks Limited - Draft ICCP, Statement of Affairs, Form CAC 2 and CAC 7;
- Perpetual Communications Limited - Draft ICCP, Audited Accounts);
- Avaya Nigeria Limited - Draft ICCP, Audited Accounts;
- Helpline Systems Limited - Draft ICCP, Audited Accounts and List of Equipment.
All submissions have been forwarded to the relevant Departments for necessary action.
Type Approval status For The List Of Equipment Forwarded By Touchstone Network Company Limited - CMED obtained the Type Approval status for the list of equipment forwarded by Touchstone Network Company Limited from TSNI Department. Accordingly, a letter was sent to Touchstone directing them to:
- Commence the Type Approval process for the equipment which are without approval from the Commission and forward evidence of compliance to the Commission on/before 16th April, 2018; OR
- Alternatively, use other device(s) from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) approved list of equipment that serve the same purpose.
The Commission will continue to monitor and ensure compliance accordingly.
Monitoring the Usage of Numbering and Spectrum Resources by Expired Licensees - Consistent with Section 31 of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 which mandates all telecom companies to obtain requisite authorization from the Commission to carry out telecom activities, the Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Department (CMED) wants to ensure that operators are not operating with expired licenses while still retaining their frequency & numbering allocations granted by the Commission.
Accordingly, the Department requested Licensing & Authorization Department to oblige us with a list of all expired Licenses to enable CMED monitor compliance with their numbering & frequency allocation status. The Unit is still following up on this case.
Compliance Monitoring Of Tariffs
Compliance Monitoring Exercise on MTN’s StartPack Tariff Plan - In line with CMED’s mandate to monitor and ensure compliance with the Commission’s Regulations, Guidelines and Directions, our attention has been drawn to MTN Nigeria Limited’s StartPack Tariff Plan. MTN Startpack, according to their website subscribers on this default tariff plan would receive 700% bonus on recharge of N100 and above for a period of three months. Calls from main account are charged at 66.67k/sec, while calls from bonus account are charged at 75k/sec. However, our investigation with MSISDN +2348104539868 revealed that the bonus account was charged at 66.67k/sec for On-Net calls contrary to their advertisement. Following which a letter was written to MTN requesting for CDRs to guide our further regulatory action.
Compliance Monitoring Exercise on Airtel’s SmartConnect Tariff Plan - Similarly, the Commission carried out monitoring checks on Airtel’s SmartConnect tariff plan. According to information obtained from their website, SmartConnect is Airtel's default bonus plan for prepaid customers which offers 8 times bonus on every recharge. Calls from main account are charged at 50k/second, calls from bonus account are charged at 60k/second, while calls to Family & Friends are charged 40k/second. However, our investigation with MSISDN +2347018442969 revealed some discrepancies in the amount charged from the bonus account. Consequently, a letter was written to Airtel requesting for CDRs to guide our further regulatory action on the matter.
Compliance Monitoring Of Advertisements & Promotions
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ Promotion by 9Mobile - The attention of the Commission was drawn to an advert in the Thisday newspaper of Monday, March 12, 2018 regarding the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ promotional offer by 9mobile. According to the advertisement, subscribers who pre-order the Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ on/before March 15, 2018 from 9mobile will enjoy the following benefits:
- 2GB free data on activation;
- Up to 100% data bonus for 12 months;
- Free wireless charger stand valued at N25,000
Having reviewed the features of the offer approved by the Commission viz-a-viz what is being advertised by 9mobile, the Unit observed a slight departure from the Commission’s approval. In addition, 9mobile failed to communicate the conditions of the promotion in clear and understandable terms contrary to Section 4 (xv) of the Commission’s Guidelines on Advertisements and Promotions. Consequently, the case was transferred to Enforcement Unit for necessary action.
Compliance Monitoring Of Type Approval Of Telecoms Equipment
Violation of Type Approval Regulations, 2008 - The attention of the CM Unit was drawn to the advertisement/sale of mobile devices on the website of Jumia which were not on the Commission's list of type approved equipment. Following investigation, the Commission confirmed that the devices have not been type-approved. Thereafter, a letter was sent to Jumia Nigeria informing them that the sale of the handsets within the country’s telecom space constitutes a violation. Accordingly, they were requested to discontinue the advertisement/sale of the devices until regulatory certifications have been obtained. Meanwhile, they have also been requested to forward type approval certificates for the handsets on/before April 16, 2018 if they have any in their possession.
Compliance Monitoring Of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) Obligations
Pursuant to Section 4 (b & h) of the Nigerian Communications Act 2003 and in line with the mandate of the Commission to monitor and ensure that every licensee complies with the Commission’s Regulations, the Commission has designed strategies in conjunction with Licensing & Authorization and Finance Services Departments to monitor the payment of Annual Operating Levy (AOL) by Licensees.
Available records have revealed that the category of medium sized or smaller Operators, who hardly comply with their AOL obligations are owing AOL accruing to the Commission, hence, the need to ensure that they fulfil their financial obligations and comply with the AOL Regulations, 2014.
Consequently, the Commission has put in place a strategy to ensure total compliance of all affected licenses with respect to the payment of AOL.
Nationwide Physical Enforcement Action Against Illegal Users Of 5.4GHz Frequency Band
The Commission issued a 14-day Enforcement notice to illegal users of the 5.4GHz frequency band. The Enforcement notice which was published in two national dailies will expire on 17th April, 2018.
Complaint Of Frequency Interference In The 5.4GHz Band Assigned To Tizeti Networks
The Commission has carried out enforcement action against NGCOM for illegal interference on the frequency assigned to Tizeti Networks in the 5.4GHz in Lekki, Lagos. Consequently, 11 Radio antennas and 12 Indoor power units were confiscated and handed over to the Lagos zonal office and the interference was resolved.
Transfer Of General Telecommunications Networks Ltd PNL License To Arcelor Networks Limited
The Commission carried out enforcement action against Arcelor Networks Limited in Abeokuta, Ogun State on March 15, 2018 for operating without a license. The Commission sealed off Arcelor’s office and directed the company to obtain the necessary license for their operation.
Direction On Routing Of A Minimum Of 10% Of Interconnect Traffic By MNO's Through Interconnect Exchange Licencees
The Commission has issued pre-enforcement notices dated 1st March, 2018 to EMTS, Globacom and Airtel as result of their failure to comply with the Direction issued to all MNOs to route a minimum of 10% interconnect traffic through Interconnect Exchange licensees for the last quarter 2017 and January, 2018.
Request For Investigation Of Anti-Competitive Activities By Computer And Allied Products Dealers Association Of Nigeria (CAPDAN)
The Commission is investigating the petition filed by Computer & Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) on anti-competitive behaviour by some licensed Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) in Nigeria. Investigation is currently on-going against some of the dealers and agents connected to the OEM.