Over 240 base stations shut in Zamfara as telecom operators obey FG’s order

Zamfara state residents in total phone blackout as telecom companies shut down their base stations in the state.

Telecoms base station; Zamfara State Governor Bello Matawalle. (Punch)

Following the directive of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that all telecom sites in Zamfara state be shut down due to the rising spate of insecurity, GSM operators have reportedly shut down their base stations in the state.

The directive was issued six months after the Federal Government declared the state a ‘no fly zone’ due to illegal mining activities.

According to The Punch, a source in the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria confirmed that all telcos operators in the state have shut down over 240 communication sites.

The source said that the operators had no choice but to comply with the regulatory authority for the telecommunications industry.

“It is the NCC that sent the letter and it is for all of the operators. When the government gives directives or when the regulator gives a directive what do you expect the telcos to do?

“Looking at what it means for the residents, we have to ask ourselves why the telecom infrastructure was shut down in the first place. That is the question the citizens should be asking. It is for their benefit. I cannot comment on how the shutting down order works, because as we are speaking, they are listening to us,” the source said.

In its ‘2020 Subscriber/Network Data Report’, the NCC stated that there were 248 base stations in Zamfara state.

A base station, according to the report, is a fixed transceiver that functions as the central communication point for one or more wireless mobile devices.

According to a telecom industry source who spoke to ThePunch, to shut down the network, base stations have to be shut down.

Meanwhile, the government of Zamfara state, as part of measures to combat banditry had recently ordered the closure of schools and also imposed a dusk-to-down curfew on 13 local government areas in the state.

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