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
Ghana Telecom Awards confirm Vodafone Ghana leader in mobile internetIndustry players and analysts at this year’s Ghana Telecom Awards were not surprised when Vodafone Ghana was adjudged the ‘Mobile Broadband Provider of the Year’. Read More
MTN Ghana named Telecoms Company of the yearMTN Ghana emerged the winner in categories like Mobile Operator of the Year, Mobile Money Service of the Year, Customer Service Company of the Year and Cloud Company of the Year at this year’s Ghana Telecoms Awards. Read More
Telecom stakeholders advocate massive education on internet in GhanaDelegates at the West Africa Telecom Summit have heard that a staggering 65 per cent of Ghanaians do not know anything about the internet. Read More
The transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in GhanaSmartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye. Read More
Microsoft, IICD launch employability hub in GhanaMicrosoft Ghana, in partnership with the International Institute for Communication and Development, has launched the TizaaWorks online platform, a one-stop online hub for employability and entrepreneurship. Read More
Significant improvements in network quality for Tigo customers on Accra-Takoradi routeFollowing the upgrade of its Microwave backbone between Accra and Takoradi telecom operator Tigo says its customers along the stretch will continue to enjoy a seamless connection every time there is a fibre cut. Read More
Airtel staff take to streets with ‘too much’ combo packsA team of staff and management of Airtel Ghana has embarked a rigorous concentrated market blitz to promote the company’s newly outdoored innovative product – “Too Much”. Read More
#DumsorMustStop: Ghanaian celebrities use social media to protest against erratic powerGhanaian celebrities used social media to galvanize an appreciable number of Ghanaians from all walks of life to stage a peaceful street demonstration in Accra at the weekend, against the current erratic power supply in the country. Read More
Ghana’s 800km fibre optic backbone commissionedGhana’s President John Dramani Mahama has commissioned an 800km Eastern Corridor Fibre Optic backbone which runs through 20 districts. Read More
New MTN boss Ebenezer Asante starts work at MTN Ridge officeThe former Chief Executive Officer for MTN Rwanda Ebenezer Asante has started work on Friday as the new CEO of Ghana’s leading network operator MTN at its plush Ridge Head quarters in Accra. Read More
FEATURED STORYThe transformative power of affordable smartphones and unlimited data in Ghana
Smartphones are helping transform their lives of ordinary people in Ghana, Reports Nana Appiah Acquaye.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHNIMC infrastructure must be managed by credible people: NIMC chief
NIMC’s chief speaks to Kokumo Goodie about the role of the NIMC and his own legacy.