The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has cautioned consumers against the use of sub-standard and counterfeit mobile devices.
NCC stressed that use of sub-standard and counterfeit mobile devices have a degrading effect on the quality of network services (QoS).
NCC stated that sub-standard and counterfeit devices also have negative socio-economic impacts through the following reduced FDI, threat to green environment, and risk to health.
The Commission made this known on Tuesday at its first Industry Type Approval Working Group Meeting in Lagos.
At the meeting, NCC stated that sub-standard and counterfeit devices have negative socio-economic impacts also through vulnerability in online transactions, negative economic impacts on right holders, increased cyber threats, and privacy risks.
Type approval is an approval given to electronic devices (radio or non-radio equipment) which will be interfaced with Nigerian communications networks or used in wireless devices.
The objective of type approval includes: protect public telecommunications networks, to ensure safety of the public from dangerous equipment, spectrum optimization, ensure compatibility and interoperability of the equipment connected to the national networks and facilitate QoS.
Under the Nigerian Communications Act 2003, individuals and organizations that do not comply with type approval are subject to arrest and on conviction, liable to a fine or imprisonment.
According to the Commission, multiple initiatives to enforce implementation of type approval on all telecommunication devices had been set up, to include sensitization workshops, quality of service/quality of equipment monitoring tools, inspection and deployment of device management.
The Commission expressed a need for strong collaboration with Law Enforcement Agencies, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the Nigeria Customs Service in preventing the importation, sale and use of non-type approved, counterfeit and sub-standard devices in the country.
“Nigeria is an active participant in the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) Study Group 11 which actively discusses type approval initiatives and produces international standards that define how telephone calls and data calls are handled on a network.
“Establishing of Accredited Test Laboratories in Nigeria would go a long way in protecting consumers and mobile networks from the adverse effects of using sub-standard and counterfeit devices” NCC stated.