Ghana looks to curb MNP problems
TELECOMS| July 20, 2012, 12:17 p.m.
In a report issued this week to assess the first year of mobile number portability in the country, the NCA said the exercise had run smoothly overall.
In the first year of MNP, 370,107 mobile numbers were successfully ported by customers in Ghana, representing 1.6% of the total active mobile numbers in Ghana.
NCA said each of the mobile networks in Ghana had gained and lost customers and that the overwhelming majority of customers who had ported had remained on the networks to which they ported, implying satisfaction with the process and the choice they made.
However, the NCA noted “Very soon after MNP was launched, we began receiving reports of agents in the field misleading customers into porting when that was not the customer’s actual intent.”
“Initially we believed these were “birthing pains” which would diminish as everyone became more familiar with the process. However, we find today that even after one year, various types of miscommunication (at best) or deception (at worse) are taking place in the field, primarily by agents who are authorized by the mobile operators to sell their products and services.'
"There is a procedure for remedying such fraudulent ports quickly, and the networks have generally cooperated well in resolving such matters at customers’ request. The total number of such resolutions is quite low compared to the overall number of porting requests, but any misrepresentation is still too much. We need prevention, not just cure after the fact.”
NCA said it had asked the networks to call their agents to order, but had not yet seen sufficient progress. It had also suggested that the Telecoms Chamber establish a system to share information between operators about agents who have misled customers.
The report warned: “It may be left to NCA to act decisively to resolve this problem if the operators cannot or will not do so. We may call customers, agents, and their supervisors for hearings on each case. In the end, we may be forced to issue sanctions against operators who allow this situation to persist at unacceptable levels. The integrity of the process is at stake.”
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