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

Airtel deepens data market competition with new offers

In line with efforts to strengthen its relationship with customers, leading telecommunications service provider, Airtel Nigeria this week in its Lagos Banana Island Head Office, unveiled a new data campaign tagged “Join the Smartphone Network” which seeks to reward customers for their patronage, and also drive internet usage and penetration. Read More

TNM claims ‎Macra milking phone operators

Government and its agents are milking telecommunication operators through fees and levies, and one of the leading mobile telecoms operators TNM has come in the open to reveal that its cost of levies, fees and taxes was K15 billion for 2014. Read More

Mali’s 3rd mobile operator to start operations soon

Alpha Telecom, the third mobile operator of Mali, is set to start operating in the near future to challenge leader Orange and SOTELMA in this West African nation. Read More

Phase3 Telecoms extends aerial cable to Republic of Niger

Sub-regional telecoms infrastructure company, Phase3 Telecoms said it has started the deployment of aerial fiber optic infrastructure from Kano in Nigeria to Gazaoua in Niger Republic.  Read More

Predatory pricing in transmission cable market, others worry NCC

Nigeria’s telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is worried that in the transmission cable market, predatory pricing, denial of access to viable routes and discriminatory and arbitrary pricing is the order of the day. Read More

USF contributions surpass sh2.5bn target

Contributions to the Universal Service Fund by Kenyan Operators have surpassed the targetted sh2.5 billion. Read More

MTN Ghana invests 460 Million Ghana Cedi into operations

MTN has told editors at an annual meeting in Accra that it is committing a total of GH.C 46O Million to improving its network this year. Read More

Airtel deepens competition with SmartConnect

The scramble for subscriber acquisition in the telecoms industry has taken a new turn as Airtel has unveiled a new marketing strategy to grow its subscriber numbers in a bid to unseat Globacom as second largest operator in the country. Read More

Togo government to regenerate Togo Telecom

Togo's government has vowed to rebuild Togo Telecom with a regeneration package that includes a network upgrade, better customer service and high speed internet at affordable rates. Read More

Ghana ICH poses ‘telecoms monopoly risk’

The Head of the Telecommunications, Media and Technology team at a private law firm Bentsi-Enchill, Letsa & Ankomah has questioned the National Communication Authority's decision to appoint a Ghanaian company to operate the national interconnect exchange and financial clearing house. Read More

PRESS OFFICES

Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika

FEATURED STORY

2bn priced out of internet access2bn priced out of internet access

A new report from the Alliance for Affordable Internet shows that the price of broadband remains prohibitive for billions in developing and emerging countries, with women and rural dwellers hardest hit.

IN DEPTH

Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College Villagers get solar training at Barefoot College

The Botswana Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) has seconded seven semi-illiterate mostly Ngwatle villagers for a six month solar electrification training course at the famed Barefoot College in India.