Keeping it clean
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - July 24, 2012, 4:50 p.m.
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
This month, the regulator assessed the success and achievements of this exercise in Ghana. The National Communication Authority (NCA), together with other stakeholders in the telecom industry, marked the one year anniversary of MNP in Ghana by issuing a report that recount the smooth implementation of the exercise since its inception last year to date.
Although the NCA described the exercise as a success, it also pointed out certain challenges that are still bedeviling the successful running of the MNP across country. For an in-depth understanding of how successful the MNP was carried out, BiztechAfrica had an exclusive interview with an MNP consultant to the NCA, Bob Palitz.
BTA: Overall, would you describe the MNP implementation as successful?
BP: Yes, I believe it was very successful. We have enabled Ghanaian mobile customers to take advantage of the competitive environment, and nearly 400,000 have already done so.
BTA: Is the number of people porting to new operators in line with global averages?
BP: We believe it is, although there are few examples of developing countries which have implemented MNP in an efficient and consumer-friendly manner. In one year, we had successful ports equivalent to 1.6% of the total active account base in Ghana. But there are far fewer ACTUAL customers in Ghana, due to so many people having 2 or 3 SIMs. This would make the porting number higher than 1.6% compared to the actual number of individuals with mobile phones, but there is no way to measure how much higher since we don’t know how many people have more than one SIM.
India has recently reported almost 5% of mobile base porting, but a lot of those ports were due to customers moving from networks which were shut down due to a court decision. It’s a different situation entirely.
We do expect porting to grow with market size and public awareness.
BTA: The report mentions miscommunication and even deception causing problems. How many people have been affected by this?
BP: The reports reaching us indicate it is far less than 1% of successful ports. But again, we take any deceptive practice very seriously.
BTA: What steps are being taken to prevent this?
BP: NCA doesn’t have any direct recourse with the field agents themselves, only against the operators on whose behalf they are acting. Each operator has confirmed to us that they apply a financial penalty to agents who have submitted fraudulent porting requests, but none have told us that they remove such agents from their systems. Obviously this has been insufficient to address the problem. We care considering various steps, including redesign of the porting request form to highlight a warning, and more detailed investigations of each incident, possibly leading to sanctions.
BTA: By when will a decision be taken about sanctions against operators who allow it to happen?
BP: We believe a multi-faceted approach is needed. With regard to sanctions, the Mobile Number Portability Regulations 2011 already give NCA authority to assess administrative penalties of up to GHS20,000 per incident. However, we are in the process of composing a detailed list of sanctions for each type of offense, and the factors that lead to this situation will be included. That list will have to be gazetted before it can take effect. We cannot predict when sanctions would kick in with regard to fraudulent porting, but it is clearly in the cards, if other methods fail.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
X Factor goes live in Ghana, NigeriaX Factor, the world’s number one singing reality TV show, which national operator Globacom brought to Africa for the first time in March, has gone on air. Read More
Glo highlights Biiiiig dealsGlo Mobile Ghana has highlighted its ‘Glo Biiiiig 5’, a new tariff plan on which all Glo customers instantly receive five times usage credit for every recharge made. Read More
New cable to connect TunisiaTunisiana and Orange Tunisie have signed a partnership agreement with Interoute for the commissioning of a submarine cable connecting the city of Kélibia, Tunisia to Interoute’s pan European fibre optic network. Read More
Smile launches true 4G in TanzaniaSmile Communications Tanzania has launched the first commercial Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) broadband network in Tanzania Read More
Main One rebrands, repositionsMain One Cable Company has rebranded as Main One, and repositioned to expand its role in the telecoms market. Read More
Ethiopian mining venture drills into Q-KON for connectivity supportQ-KON has been selected as the preferred provider of connectivity services to Allana Potash Afar PLC, an Ethiopian subsidiary of a Canadian Corporation. Read More
GSMA opens Nairobi officeThe GSMA has opened a permanent office at the iHub in Nairobi, Kenya. Read More
Simplicity, transparency the wave of the future in telecom billingThe time is ripe for mobile providers to start looking at the central role that billing has to play in their customer strategies, says Consology. Read More
Swedish government in talks with Main OneA Swedish Government delegation has met Main One Cable Company for talks on possible business opportunities in Nigeria. Read More
FEATURED STORYICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellers
A Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHBetting on the cloud
In Africa, an emerging ICT industry is betting its future on serving customers and businesses through cloud based applications, Riverbed Technology has told Biztechafrica.
COMPANY NEWSMost powerful and compact Samsung A3 colour and mono copiers announced
Samsung Electronics South Africa has launched its groundbreaking CLX-9201, 9251, and 9301 A3 colour and SCX-8123, CX-8128 A3 mono copiers.