Keeping it clean

TELECOMS

|
Image: Bob Palitz, MNP consultant. By BiztechAfrica
Bob Palitz, MNP consultant

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.



Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus

MORE TELECOMS NEWS

Yes, Etisalat dragged us to court, says MTN

MTN Nigeria has confirmed that it has been served with court papers based on a lawsuit filed by Emerging Markets Telecommunications Services Limited (Etisalat Nigeria) over the acquisition of Visafone, the only surviving code division multiple access (CDMA) operator in the country. Read More

Etisalat challenges MTN spectrum use

Etisalat Nigeria says it has brought a legal action challenging MTN’s use of the 800MHZ spectrum following the acquisition of Visafone. Read More

NewTelco SA extends African footprint with dedicated Kenyan presence

The Jasco Group has expanded the presence of NewTelco South Africa, a joint venture between the Jasco Group and NewTelco GMBH, into the East African region with a dedicated presence in Kenya.  Read More

Facility closure to affect Ondo services, warns MTN

MTN Nigeria has warned that the closure of its facilities in Ondo by the state government will negatively impact the quality of service in the state. Read More

Telcos threaten service blackout on states shutting BTS

Nigeria’s telecoms operators have threatened not to reopen any base transmission station (BTS) that were forcefully shut down by states. Read More

Neglect of CDMA a mistake, says NCC CEO

The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) has lamented the comatose state of the CDMA sector of the telecoms industry. Read More

Airtel introduces new UnlimiNet 20 daily bundle

Airtel has introduced a new “UnlimiNet 20 bundle”, billed as the most affordable bundled offer for voice, SMS and data on the Airtel network.      Read More

Safaricom opens new Narok retail shop

Safaricom has set its sights on Narok County as it seeks to provide residents of the rapidly growing town with easier access to its wide range of products and services. Read More

Why we launched Mate 8, M2 Tablet: Huawei

Chinese original equipment manufacturer Huawei has said it launched its two new flagship products, Mate 8 and M2 Tablet, to cater for the increasing mobile needs of consumers. Read More

BTCL introduces IPO Champions

The BTCL IPO Project Team has introduced BTCL IPO Champions across all BTCL and Barclays Bank branches across Botswana. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage EnterpriseSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4AfrikaNetworks Unlimited

FEATURED STORY

Viber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats Viber Spreads Good Vibes in Africa with the introduction of public chats

Viber, one of the leading messaging and calling apps with more than 664 million unique users worldwide, has opened its latest social channel ‘Public Chats’ to partners in Africa and the Middle East. 

IN DEPTH

Poised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year WinnerPoised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner

Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation. 

COMPANY NEWS

DStv Eutelsat Star Awards winners named

Students from Ghana and Zimbabwe have scooped top honours at 5th edition of DStv Eutelsat Star Awards organised by MultiChoice Africa and Eutelsat.

Arbor Networks maintains leadership in IHS Infonetics Report on DDoS prevention appliances

Arbor Networks was identified once again as the top supplier of DDoS mitigation appliances overall, as well as in the Carrier, Enterprise and Mobile market segments, according ...