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NCC issues warning on frequency jamming

20 March 2014, 14:31

Abuja - The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has warned institutions against using radio frequency jammers in their premises without authorisation.

The commission said it had recently discovered that unauthorised use of radio frequency jammers by some identified bodies were responsible for telecoms services disruptions in some areas of the country.

It warned that henceforth, any religious institution or public organisations using radio frequency jammers without authorisation for the NCC would be prosecuted.

Speaking in Lagos at a training forum for ICT journalists, Engineer Austine Nwaulune, Director of Spectrum Administration at NCC said that it was worrisome that several religious organisations and public institution now install radio frequency jammers in their premises to cut off cell phone calls without realising the bigger implications on the network in such area.

Explaining how the jamming process works, Nwaulune said, “Individual towers partition cities into small sections called cells. As a cell phone user traverses the cells in an area, the signal is passed from tower to tower. Jamming devices take advantage of this fact by transmitting on the spectrum of radio frequencies used by cellular devices.

"Through its concurrent transmission, the jamming device is able to disrupt the two-way communication between the phone and the base station. This form of a denial-of-service attack inhibits all cellular communication within range of the device.

"Thus, radio jamming is the (usually deliberate) transmission of radio signals that disrupt communications by decreasing the signal to noise ratio.”

Nwaulune said the effect was evident in the low quality of service (QoS) which had become topical in the industry in recent time, particularly, polarising the regulator, operators and telecom subscribers in the country.

These devices are illegal to sell, install or use in Nigeria without authorisation from the Commission and have been found to be used by Hotels, Security operatives, Courts, Religious institutions to prevent the operation of phone devices in their premises and areas of security concerns.

“They contribute to degrade the QoS in the areas they are deployed and could affect a large area depending on the range and transmit power of the jammer. Like any radio transmitter they can radiate beyond the intended perimeter of coverage. The use is prohibited by extant laws of the country,” he said.

Nwaulune said the NCC had set up a team to monitor those institution using jammers without authorisation.

– CAJ News

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