By Prince Osuagwu
The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has kicked off its regulatory activities in 2020 with a workshop hosted to sensitise and educate its licensees and other relevant stakeholders in the Nigerian telecom industry on the importance of type approval of telecoms equipment and other mobile and terminal devices.
The one-day workshop held in Ikeja Lagos recently was in its efforts to ensuring that licensees comply with the extant industry type approval regulation.
However, the ultimate objective was to ensure industry interoperability, quality of service QoS, and safety.
Discussions at the forum focused on sensitising the stakeholders to the need for type approval of telecom equipment, particularly the mobile genre, used by operators in the deployment of services.
The regulator also used the event to raise the red flag on inherent dangers associated with the importation and use of non-type approved equipment and mobile devices in the country.
NCC’s Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity, Bako Wakil, said type approval is one of the key regulatory functions of the Commission and a means the commission authenticates specifications, standards and conformity of telecom equipment for use in the Nigerian telecom industry.
According to him, type approval involves submitting a sample of a telecom equipment or device to the Commission to ensure its conformity and interoperability within the country’s telecom ecosystem and to guarantee they are safe for use by the consumers. Wakil, who was represented by an Assistant Director, Toni Ikemefuna, stated that type approval is conducted, as a regulatory function, to ensure the safety of lives of consumers as well as to safeguard telecom networks without compromising on good quality of services in the sector.
While type-approval exercise is in compliance with the international standards, Wakil stated that different regions of the world have varying specifications and standard requirements on equipment for compatibility, seamless interoperability of networks and deployment of digital services.
He said: “The sales, installation and use of counterfeit, fake and substandard consumer telecom equipment such as mobile phones, tablets and other mobile accessories pose great risk to human health, safety and this underscores the importance of type approving all equipment imported for use in Nigeria. Sub-standard equipment also has the power to degrade QoS of our networks,” he added.
He called on all relevant stakeholders, dealers of mobile consumer terminal equipment as well as major equipment importers, sellers and providers of Automated Vehicle Tracking System Service to be vigilant and ensure compliance to type approved and established by the Commission in Nigeria.
He also urged them to expose those who deal in counterfeit, fake and substandard equipment by reporting cases of breach by those who provide telecom services without appropriate licences or authorisation to the Commission.