Lagos — NCC Executive Vice Chairman-CEO, Prof Umar Garba Danbatta
The Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, says the telecoms industry recently lost $3 billion revenue to 'SIM box', a trending fraud in the industry.
Prof Danbatta also revealed that 750,000 numbers assigned to 13 operators from the national network had been barred and six indicted interconnect exchange licensees suspended in February due to the telecom fraud.
The EVC disclosed this yesterday at the 85th edition of the Telecom Consumer Parliament in Lagos.
Speaking on the theme, 'Overcoming Challenges of Call Masking/Refiling: Task Ahead for the Telecoms Industry', Danbatta who was represented by the Director of Consumer Affairs Bureau, Mrs Felicia Onwuegbuchulam, described call masking as a worrisome development that not only constituted serious challenges to the telecoms industry but also posed serious threat to the entire country.
Call masking/refiling is when an international call is terminated in Nigeria as a local number.
The perpetrators, he said, had the ulterior motive of profiting from price differentials between international and local calls termination rates.
"As a commission, we discovered call masking is being perpetrated with small movable devices called SIM boxes, an electronic box loaded with numbers, with a capacity to receive and transmit calls undetected.
"The SIM boxes are never type-approved by the commission, a clear indication that they are being used illegally in the country," he said.