By ; Basel Khaled
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Egypt (NTRA) removed unlicensed wireless networks from major areas in Giza Governorate. Such networks had a negative impact on the quality of telecom services provided for users in Haram, Faisal, Kirdasa and the surrounding areas within a circle diameter of 12 Km, and therefore, these areas had been experiencing quality issues in terms of voice and data transfer services. Service levels were consequently boosted at such areas, according to the measurements conducted by NTRA post removal. In fact, this step comes in line with NTRA’s role to govern and regulate telecom market as well as improve the levels of service provided for users.
Number of complaints raised by users living in Haram, Faisal and Kirdasa had been increasingly escalated to NTRA, indicating service quality issues in such areas. As per the field inspections conducted by NTRA’s technical teams, it was clear these users had been receiving telecom services from illegal networks not affiliated with any of the licensed operators in Egypt’s market whatsoever, and therefore, telecom services in such residential areas were entirely affected. After taking the necessary legal action, members of Telecom Police escorted by inspectors and law enforcement officers in NTRA carried out a mission where 1089 Wi-Fi routers, 146 short-range nano-stations, 157 access points, 202 multi-port switches, 19 long-range micro waves, 21 external antennas, and 33 power-supplies to telecom networks were all removed.
As affirmed by NTRA, law enforcement campaigns are carried out within NTRA’s strategy to boost the level of services provided for users and make sure all telecom devices in Egypt’s market conform with the international standards. Such campaigns also aim to narrow down the use of unauthorized devices, eradicate harmful practices, and prevent law violations in Egypt’s telecom market which have a negative impact on the quality of telecom services provided for users. To this end, NTRA works to ensure that all rules and regulating procedures are abided by to guarantee the rights of telecom users.
NTRA also calls upon users of telecom services to make sure they are using the services provided by licensed telecom operators, since unlicensed networks do not actually abide by the quality standards acknowledged by NTRA. Furthermore, users of such networks do not have the right to receive a proper customer service or report any quality issue. Unlicensed networks are also illegal by virtue of law and have a harmful impact on service quality for wide distances in the areas where they are deployed.