Keeping it clean
TELECOMS| 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
YahClick unveils Virtual Network Operator ServiceYahClick, the broadband satellite solutions provider for home and business, has announced a partnership with VT iDirect for the introduction of Virtual Network Operator (VNO) services across YahClick’s existing footprint. Read More
WIOCC appoints new Sales DirectorNikki Popoola has joined WIOCC as Director – Sales, where she will be helping international carriers procure simple solutions to their complex connectivity challenges into and within Africa. Read More
Nigeria's telco InterC Network targets 10m customersCDMA telco Intercellular has staged a come-back as InterC Network, with a target of capturing 10 million customers in the next five years. Read More
MTN Rwanda launches Business Call Assist for SMEsMTN Rwanda has launched a cost-effective answering position and personal call management tool designed specifically for small and medium enterprises. Read More
Airtel Ghana launches groundbreaking home solutionAirtel Ghana has launched a groundbreaking home solution dubbed Airtel Quonect to provide unparalleled Communication, Connectivity and Collaborative solutions for the modern home. Read More
Ghana Chamber of Telecoms appoints Vodafone CEO as new board chairmanThe Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has appointed the CEO of Vodafone, Ms. Yolanda Cuba, as Chairperson for the ensuing year, with MTN CEO Ebenezer Asante as Vice Chair. Read More
Telecoms Hall of Fame inducts Glo chairman, AdenugaGlobacom has been named best mobile operator for the year 2016, while its chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., has been inducted into the Telecoms Hall of Fame for Telecoms Development as a Platinum member. Read More
Etisalat kicks off Nigerian photo competitionEtisalat Nigeria, in line with its commitment to promote innovation and creativity, has announced the opening of the 2016 Etisalat Photography Competition. Read More
Tigo Ghana rewards customer loyalty with new promoTigo Ghana has launched another promo geared towards rewarding and appreciating its customers. Read More
NCA to prosecute mast owners who host illegal transmission equipmentGhana’s telecoms regulator the National Communication Authority (NCA) has sounded a word of caution to operators of communication masts in the country to desist from hosting illegal transmission equipment off their masts or face prosecution. Read More
FEATURED STORYFinancial services sees AI as both opportunity and threat
Banking is already a key area where technology is having an impact throughout Africa, and a new survey assesses the impact artificial intelligence will have on this sector.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAccess and Use of ICT stats released
Statistics Botswana has released the first results of the 2014 Information and Communication Technology Household Survey.