The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said it will penalise telecoms operators involved in call masking and call refilling.
The Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management at the NCC, Mr. Sunday Dare, while addressing Journalists in Lagos said the commission has concluded its checks and discovered that some of the big GSM operators are still involved in the illicit act of call masking and call refilling, despite warnings by the NCC.
According to Dare, Call masking which involves situation whereby a caller’s true identity is hidden by the network provider, especially during international calls, is widespread and profitable among telecoms operators, who indulge in such unwholesome act.
It was reported last month that the NCC summoned two of the telecoms operators, suspected to be conniving with callers on their networks to mask their telephone numbers while making calls.
The two operators were summoned to a meeting with the NCC in Abuja to explain their involvement in call masking, which according to NCC, poses national security risk and threat to the Nigerian economy.
A one-week ultimatum, till Friday July 28, 2017, was given to the telecoms by the commission to terminate all forms of call masking and refilling activity on their network.
How telecoms perpetrate the unholy act of call masking…
The NCC’s investigation showed that most operators connive with international callers to operate masked calls in Nigeria.
It was also revealed by NCC that when subscribers make international calls, the operators in Nigeria masks their number and alter the local number to have international status, just to avoid being charged with the international rate for terminating such calls on international network.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria operators will charge the local caller at international rate but will pay at local rate to the international network where the call was terminated.
Dare, however, added that the NCC has all the details of the operators involved in call masking and assured Nigerians that they would be duly sanctioned by next week.
Although the amount of the fine was not disclosed, the commission said the operators would be fined based on the number of masked calls noticed on their networks.