Two leading network providers, MTN and Globacom have been said to suffer more cases of vandalism in Nigeria than other telecommunication firms which resulted in productivity downtime.
A source from MTN noted that most of the attacks took place in the South-East region of the country.
The source also claimed that despite MTN’s quick detection technology that notifies the company of cases of vandalism, issues of fibre cuts have been very high, especially from construction companies.
Important components like generating sets, batteries, automatic voltage regulator and radios are commonly reported stolen on a daily basis while the company also records arbitrary fibre cuts as reported by the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON).
In the case of Globacom, it suffered losses resulting in over 40 per cent downtime on its services. This was responsible for the poor network services the network provider has been experiencing nationwide.
According to the Chairman, ALTON, Gbenga Adebayo, apart from theft and damage caused to infrastructure, there have been injuries to security personnel at sites, “and in some cases, maiming and even killing by hoodlums. While the focus has been on the impact of this menace on quality of service, there is need to find out how much operators are losing to this challenge.”
The huge impact of these losses double down on operators who bear the losses and subscribers who suffer network setback and continuous service disruptions. The impact is continuous as it results in increasing dropped calls, aborted and undelivered short message services (SMS), and countless failed calls, among others.
Adebayo called for the passage of the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) Bill, which he believed would go a long way to bring sanity to the sector by ensuring that offenders are prosecuted, and adequate protection of facilities identified as important national assets.
In his own reaction, Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta, in a reaction to the losses said that the situation affected network users, created huge losses for telecom operators and lower revenues for the government.