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Call masking: NCC sanctions telcos, bars 750,000 numbers

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has sanctioned three companies and barred 750,000 numbers found to be connected to call masking.

Call masking is a technique used to hide numbers when making calls or sending messages.

In some cases, international numbers are masked with local numbers which are not charged, because the caller’s identity is completely hidden on the network.

In a statement signed by Tony Ojobo on Tuesday, the commission said the sanctioned entities were found to be directly and indirectly involved in several infractions.

“Including covertly allowing organisations with expired licenses to transit calls, failure to undertake due diligence on parties seeking to interconnect, deliberately turning a blind eye to masking infractions by interconnect partners, and using a licence issued to another organisation to bring-in and terminate international calls which were masked as local calls to other operators.”

NCC had previously warned that it would
suspend the licensees of companies suspected of call masking.

After investigations with the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and the Department of State Services, NCC imposed the following sanctions:

“a. Suspension of the Interconnect Clearinghouse License issued to Medallion Communications Limited for a period of 90 days, in the first instance;
b. Issuance of a strong warning to Interconnect Clearinghouse Nigeria Limited;
c. Disconnection of Information Connectivity Solutions Limited (ICSL) and Solid Interconnectivity Services Limited from all networks, until they regularize their operations;
d. Issuance of letters to Exchange Telecoms Limited, NiconnX Limited and Breeze Micro Limited, cautioning them against engaging in the fraudulent practice; and
e. Barring of over 750,000 numbers assigned to several Private Network Links (PNL) and Local Exchange Operator (LEO) licensees, which number ranges were found to have been utilized for the practice.”

According to the statement, the licensees whose numbers have been barred are: Vezeti Communications Services Limited, Voix Networks Limited, Mobitel Limited, Peace Global Satellite Communications Limited, ABG Communications Limited, Vodacom Business Africa (Nigeria) Limited, Swift Telephone Networks Limited, QVODA Telecoms Limited, Wireless Telecoms Limited and Emcatel Networks Limited.

“Accordingly, every service provider that has been sanctioned still has an opportunity to correct the identified anomalies and satisfy the commission that it should be allowed to continue to operate in Nigeria.”

NCC said the second stage, which has commenced, is focusing on mobile network operators and other persons involved in SIM-Boxing.

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Dual sim, no home button… here’s what the new N539k iPhone offers

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Apple unveiled new versions of the iPhone on Wednesday at its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

It is customary for the company to announce new versions of its products in September.

The new iPhone Xr and Xs will be sold at N269,640 ($749) and N359,640 ($999) respectively.

The iPhone Xs Max will be sold for N395,640 ($1,099) and N539,640 ($1,499) for the 512GB storage version.

All three models come with large displays, minimal borders, no home button and the FaceID camera system for unlocking the device using facial recognition.

“We are going to take iPhone X to the next level,” chief executive Tim Cook said.

The iPhone Xr comes with a single camera, rather than the dual lenses other new models carry but has the same 12-megapixel sensor.

The case is made of aluminium rather than stainless steel and comes in white, black, blue, coral, yellow, and red. It is available in 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB storage sizes.

The iPhone Xs and Xs Max comes with dual camera lenses and dual sim support. Both phones are also said to have the ability to survive two metres of beer and water for up to 30 minutes.

The company says all the phones can be pre-ordered from October 19 and it will start shipping the following week.

New Apple watch with ECG

Apple also unveiled a fourth generation of Apple Watch with an ability to perform an electrocardiogram.

The watch, sold in the United States from $399, will be available in stores on September 21.

“Apple Watch has become an intelligent guardian for your health,” chief operating officer Jeff Williams said.

“This is the first ECG product offered over the counter directly to consumers. Now you can take an ECG any time, anywhere, right from the wrist.”

The device also detects when a person suffers a fall, seen as an important feature for elderly or disabled users.

 

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Police arrest WhatsApp group admin, members for spreading ‘fake news’

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The Kano state police have arrested the administrator and members of a WhatsApp group for allegedly circulating fake news.

The group was accused of spreading the picture of a woman who was accused of trafficking children in Kano.

According to PRNigeria, Magaji Musa, Kano police spokesperson, said the suspects were arrested after the woman issued a complaint to the state command.

Magaji said the suspects, during interrogation, said they had never met the victim and “sought forgiveness” for circulating the “fake” information about her.

He said the police have provided security cover for the woman identified as Bushirat Madaki “for fear of mob attacks because her image and the false report on her have gone viral”.

Magaji said: “We received a complaint from a married woman and a civil servant, Mrs Bushirat Madaki, that her picture is being shared on WhatsApp group with the intent to malign and incite the public against her.

“Upon receiving the complaint, the commissioner of police, Alhaji Rabiu Yusuf ordered an immediate investigation by a special team who were able to trace and arrest three married suspects a man and two women for circulating the fake and offensive information.

“When confronted over the petition against them, the suspects admitted that the image and material on the woman were shared and forwarded in their group.

“They also admitted that they didn’t know the woman in person and have never had interaction with her before distributing the image and the story. They, therefore, sought forgiveness.

“For now, the police command has granted the suspects bails because the offence is bailable while further investigation is ongoing.

“The police command is also currently providing security cover for the innocent woman for fear of mob attacks because her image and the false report on her have gone viral.

“We call on social media users to be wary of what they receive and share or forward on social media, especially WhatsApp. We should guard against the misuse of social media platforms by sharing and forwarding objectionable or fake messages.”

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READ: Handy tips to make your phone battery last longer

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Although mobile phones can do more than ever before, their batteries don’t seem to have the longevity. Gone are the days where people could expect their mobile to last an entire day, which is often due to the fact we are using them to do so much more.

And this is why many people now move about with additional device – Power bank

But there are certain tricks people can follow to make their phone last hours longer.

According to Stuff, people need to keep the battery level above 50 percent, have more than one charger and tweak the phone’s settings, just to name a few.

Focus on your battery level

Normally people have been told to let their phone’s battery to drain completely before they charge it again, but the website says this is a big no-no.

One of their main tips for people to get the best from their phone battery is to charge it a little bit, but regularly.

The aim is to keep the battery above 50 per cent and regularly topping it up as the day goes on.

Have more than one charger on rotation

It is recommended that people invest in buying multiple chargers so that they’re not stranded with a phone that completely runs out of battery.

Ideally people should have one for home, work and their car and should aim to buy ones that charge quickly.

Tweak your settings

Unfortunately there are a variety of features on iPhones that can drain the battery at a speed of light, but these can be easily fixed.

It is recommended that people turn off vibrate or haptic feedback as the buzzing can drain the battery.

Both iPhones and Androids have a low power mode which helps conserve the battery as it does things like prevent automatic downloads and turns off the screen faster.

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