The National Communications Authority (NCA) has begun a frequency monitoring and inspection exercise, which has led to the decommissioning and confiscation of transmitters and antennas illegally operating on frequency bands licensed for Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
The frequency bands in question are the 2.3GHz, 3.3GHz, 3.5GHz and 3.6GHz, which according to the Authority are ‘licensed bands’ allocated specifically for use by ISPs.
A statement from the NCA said so far the decommissioning and confiscation of equipment have taken place in the Greater-Accra Region, but the exercise will be extended to other parts of the country.
"Further investigations are being also conducted to ascertain the owners of the equipment used to perpetrate these illegal actions. The appropriate actions will be taken against the perpetrators in accordance with the Electronic Communications Act, 2008," said the NCA statement.
The statement noted that the exercise is being conducted in accordance with sections 62 and 71 of the Electronic Communications Act (ECA), 2008, Act 775.
"The activities of illegal users contravene Section 9 of the ECA, 2008, Act 775 which states that: (1) A person shall not use a spectrum for designated services without a frequency authorization granted by the Authority. (2) A person who wishes to use a spectrum shall apply to the Authority in the manner specified in Regulations," the statement said.
Director of Engineering at the NCA, Henry Kanor, has been quoted as saying the activities of illegal frequency users cause harmful interference to the operations of licensed ISPs and they also deny the Authority of revenue in the form of Regulatory and Spectrum fees.
"The purpose of this monitoring exercise is therefore to clear the licensed ISP frequency bands of all illegal users," he said.
The statement said the Authority used its state of the art Mobile Spectrum Monitoring Systems to detect unwanted or illegal signals at various locations in the Greater Accra Region.
The NCA also cautioned all Mast Owners to, at all times, check that telecommunication service providers are licensed by the NCA before allowing them to co-locate on their facility.
The Authority adds that henceforth, Mast Owners would equally be held liable for illegal transmissions from their masts.
Click here to see the list of 52 authorized ISPs in the country which is also published on the website of the NCA.
The NCA is therefore cautioning consumers and the general public to desist from working with unauthorized internet service providers.
They called on persons who wish to use a spectrum to apply to the NCA in the manner specified in the Electronic Communications Act.
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