Keeping it clean
GHANA| 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 GHANA NEWS
Dimabi School renovated By Tigo Shelter 4 Education projectTigo Ghana has presented its fourth school block to the management of Dimabi Nursery and Primary School in Tolon Kumbumgu of the Northern Region. Read More
Surfline Communications – one year of leading 4G LTE revolution in GhanaGhana’s leading 4G LTE network provider, Surfline Communications, is celebrating its first anniversary in grand style. Read More
Ghana govt commences digital migrationGhana's Minister of Communication has disclosed that the government has commenced the process of migrating Ghana from analogue to DTT. Read More
MTN Ghana wins award in procurement and supply managementMTN Ghana has received an award from the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) for being the most innovative in the use of technology in procurement and supply. Read More
MTN Ghana holds 2nd Mobile Money forum in AccraMTN Ghana held its second Mobile Money Stakeholders’ Forum in Accra this week, under the theme maximizing the potential of mobile money to drive financial inclusion in Ghana. Read More
Airtel employees mentor Kinder Paradise Home studentsAirtel Ghana, has organized a motivational mentorship seminar for students of the Kinder Paradise Home at Prampram near Accra. Read More
Obeng Yaw L/A School benefits from Tigo’s Shelter 4 Education projectObeng Yaw, a community in the Upper West Akyem district of the Eastern region is the latest to benefit from Tigo’s Shelter for Education project. Read More
Vodafone supports deployment of SnooCode for Ghana Ambulance ServiceGhana National Ambulance Service teams across the length and breadth of the country will now find it easy tracking the location of victims during emergencies using SnooCode’s “CodeRed” mobile application. Read More
Kumasi set to host Tigo Yensor Nkoaa Grand finale.After 90 days of giving away generators, power banks, rechargeable lamps and power invertors, the Tigo “Yensor Nkoaa “ promo is inching closer to the grand finale. Read More
Dimabi Community gets new school block from Tigo GhanaTigo Ghana has presented its fourth new classroom school block with Headmaster’s office, Staff common room and a KVIP to management of Dimabi Nursery and Primary School in Tolon Kumbumgu of the Northern Region. Read More
FEATURED STORYYoung innovators shine during pitch sessions
Botswana saw an array of upcoming tech wizards selling their ideas during the Vendors’ Day pitch sessions this week.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHHigh tech homes: Just press play
High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.
COMPANY NEWSMTN Business launches Supplier Development Programme in Mpumalanga
MTN Business has reaffirmed its commitment to develop small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within Nelspruit by extending its Supplier Development Programme (SDP) and Accelerator Programme (AP), the company’s enterprise ...