THE Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that the problem of drop calls being experienced by telecommunications service subscribers would continue until further notice. Bako Wakil, director, technical standards and network integrity, NCC, said the activities of bandits, construction firms and revenue-generating and security agents would continue to hinder moves to address the challenge of drop calls.
Speaking at a public hearing of the Joint National Assembly Committee on Communications, Wakil said there was nothing the commission could do about drop calls because bandits usually cut telecommunications cables used by the service providers to connect their base stations. The public hearing was attended by the telecommunications providers, subscribers and other stakeholders in the industry.
Wakil explained that state agencies in charge of revenue collection usually shut down base stations at will and would insist on payment of debts before they would reopen the facilities. “Apart from the activities of the bandits, we also have the problem of state agencies shutting down sites due to telecommunications service providers’ indebtedness,” he said.
According to Wakil, the issue of the recent border closure is another factor that will not make it possible to put an end to dropping calls for now. He said, “The current border closure has led to the shutting down of 200 base stations because of no fuel near border towns’ policy.
“We don’t have fuel to power the two generators at each of the base stations. Some people are stealing even the generators and inverters at the stations. In 2019 alone, about 200 generators and inverter batteries were stolen every month. We also have the problem of local community residents denying us access to the base stations. There were 1, 200 access denials per month in 2019 alone and the development affected service.”
Wakil also complained about the destruction of cables during road construction and non-extension of favourable forex policy to the telecommunications industry. “Road construction should not lead to the removal of cables. Construction firms should provide duct where cables could be laid,” he said.
– Feb. 21, 2020 @ 17:39 GMT |