ICH gets legal backing from Ghana’s parliament
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The operation of the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) in Ghana has finally received a parliamentary approval following the passing of the Electronic Communication (Amendment) Bill, 2016 into law. This automatically makes the Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) the only way for network operators to interconnect with each other.
This comes at a time when Subah Infosolution Limited, a private technology firm with the mandate of operating Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) has had its contract terminated by the country’s revenue collector, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) during the first quarter of this year, and a new operator Afriwave Telecom, licensed some few months ago appointed to takeover.
The approval of ICH operation by the country’s legislative body means that Interconnect Clearinghouse becomes the main platform by which where all communication within the country and from overseas into the country would go for clearance before terminating on the intended network. The Spectrum of communication which would go through the clearinghouse includes calls, SMS and even data communication.
It’s believed that not only will ICH facilitate revenue assurance in real time for the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) but will also assist in the fight against SIMBOXING bedevilling the telecom industry.
Afriwave Telecom won the bid to operate interconnect clearing house services in Ghana as the most qualified firm to deliver on the license which is to provide a common, independent mechanism for monitoring, routing, billing and settlement of local and international interconnect traffic for all existing and future telecommunications operators in the country. The company has also engaged leading industry partners and experts to join its specialist team to deliver on its mandate.
The project will be rolled out in two phases. The first, Phase 1A and has two objectives: it will provide enhanced services to monitor and validate government revenues in accordance with Act 786 (International incoming tariff) and Act 864 (Communications Service Tax) to help government realise its revenues. The second objective which is the provision of anti-fraud management and revenue assurance systems will include the management of SIM Box Fraud.
The role out of phase 1B, which will be after 1A, will provide other value added services like EIR (Equipment Identity Register) services for the blocking of stolen handsets, a common platform for independent international wholesale carriers to deliver calls and the capability of routing of local interconnect calls.