NCC Moves To Disconnect Fake, Counterfeit Phones From Networks


Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has finalised plans to disconnect fake and counterfeit phones from all networks in Nigeria.

The agency also activated a process to monitor, manage and secure the telecommunications sector of Nigeria’s economy, NewsBeatng gathered.

It was gathered that the process is expected to be implemented through the deployment of Device Management System (DMS).

DMS refers to a technology solution that will enable the telecoms regulator to disconnect any phone flagged as stolen in the Nigerian ecosystem.

NCC said: “A considerable number of counterfeit ICT devices have found their way into global markets, including in Nigeria.

“The proliferation of these devices is raising concerns about national security, performance, quality of service delivery and potential revenue losses for all stakeholders.”

The Commission further stated: “This has led to the call by ITU Member States, particularly those in developing countries to address the issue, especially its negative effects and to study the impact of measures taken to address it.”

In respect of the inherent risks of using such fake devices in the ecosystem, the NCC noted: “Counterfeit mobile devices pose security and health risks to the consumer as well as economic risks to the brand that is being counterfeited.

“In the background of Boko Haram in Nigeria and other terrorist groups using cloned cell phones, many key security concerns relating to counterfeit electronic devices arise.”

Besides, the NCC will leverage the International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI), which is the unique number for each device, which is registered the moment a phone is connected in order to accomplish this objective.

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The Information Memorandum (IM) on the project as well noted that the DMS solution would enable the Commission to monitor, manage and secure the telecommunications sector in the country.

The process would provide a single control point for comprehensive device management for mobile and network devices in Nigeria.

DMS is a type of central remote management software used to monitor, manage, and secure mobile devices that are deployed across the various mobile service providers, and across the various mobile operating systems in a country.

The DMS system will create a single window for telecom devices enabling the NCC to proactively identify illegitimate or substandard devices that are not permitted on the Nigerian telecoms networks.

NCC intends to achieve the deployment of this DMS system, using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement, according to report.

In this arrangement, the private partner will establish, operate, and manage a DMS for the estimated 200 million telecommunications subscribers in the country.

The DMS as well is designed to address the proliferation of fake, counterfeit, substandard, and cloned mobile devices in the telecoms space in Nigeria.

The DMS will enable NCC to collect International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) data and integrate it into NCC’s type approval process.

This is with a view to blacklisting and rendering inoperable any stolen, illegal mobile phones and other smart devices.

This solution is expected to reduce mobile phone theft, protect consumers’ interests, and enhance national security.

As the process has reportedly commenced, the telecoms regulatory Commission as well stated that the final implementation of the project has to be approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), in Abuja, FCT.

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