The executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta says the telecoms industry has lost $3 billion revenue to simbox adding that it is one of the most prevalent frauds in the telecommunications industry.
Danbatta revealed that 750,000 numbers assigned to 13 operators from the national network have been barred and six indicted interconnect exchange licensees were suspended in February due to communications fraud.
The EVC said this at the 85th edition of telecom consumer Parliament in Lagos on Thursday.
Speaking on the theme: “Overcoming challenges of call masking/refiling: task ahead for the telecoms industry,” Danbatta described call masking as a worrisome development that constitutes serious challenges not only to the telecoms industry but also poses serious threats to the entire country.
In his explanation, call masking/refiling is when an international call is terminated in Nigeria as a local number.
The perpetrators, he said, have ulterior motive of profiting from price differentials between international and local calls termination rates.
“As a commission, we discovered call masking is being perpetrated with small movable devices called SIM boxes, an electronic box loaded with numbers, with a capacity to receive and transmit calls undetected. The SIM boxes are never type-approved by the Commission, a clear indication that they are being used illegally in the country,” he said.