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
Airtel Ghana passes 4m subscriber markAirtel Ghana has recorded 8.77% growth in voice and 13.3% growth in data subscriptions. Read More
Tigo upgrades Self-Care appWith its commitment to forefront technology and develop solutions to serve customers better, Tigo Ghana has upgraded its channels to provide customers with easy access to all of their communication needs on-the-go. Read More
Samsung Ghana launches Galaxy S6 Edge+ Galaxy Note 5 in grand styleSamsung has launched its new S6 Edge+ and Note 5 devices in Ghana. Read More
MTN excels in NCA data quality testsMTN has distinguished itself as the most reliable data service provider in Ghana, according to the results of Quality of Service data monitoring tests released by the National Communications Authority. Read More
Vodafone to promote Ghanaian apps on new Vodafone app storeTo encourage the development and growth of local apps in the country and also place the Ghanaian App on the global scale Vodafone Ghana has officially launched its local App store that showcase lots of local Ghanaian applications. Read More
Mecca pilgrims get added value as MTN Ghana gives 60% discountMTN Ghana is providing 60% discount on voice, SMS & data services to pilgrims of this year’s Hajj. Read More
Airtel Ghana MD named Marketing Woman of the YearThe Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, Lucy Quist, has been crowned Marketing Woman of the year at the Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Marketing Performance Awards. Read More
Vodafone to entrench its position as market leader with M2M in GhanaVodafone Ghana has reiterated its intentions not to rest on its laurels but to maintain and entrench its dominance within the telecoms space with the adoption of Machine 2 Machine (M2M) services. Read More
Stanbic Ghana rolls out solar ATMsStanbic Bank has rolled out what it believes to be the first solar powered offsite ATMs in Ghana. Read More
Airtel, Glo and Tigo sites disconnected for non payment of billsThree multinational network companies operating in the country have had some of their cell sites located in the Volta Region disconnected from electricity supply for non-payment of electricity bills, leading to massive call drops in the region. Read More
FEATURED STORYInnovative designer takes e-waste to another level
Gladys Muyenzelwa is a Gaborone based artist and designer who has an eye for ethnic and contemporary design. But unlike other designers, Muyenzelwa has found a way of using e-waste to make her creations.
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 NEWSLuba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3
Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.