Airtel-Tigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone seek injunction against NCA

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

A dispute involving four mobile network operators (MNOs) and the National Communications Authority (NCA) over a GH¢34,065,000 collective fine has been adjourned to Monday 28th January, 2019 by the Electronic Communications Tribunal in Accra, following a file for a stay of execution by network providers.

Airtel-Tigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone are before the three member tribunal challenging the basis of the fine in their petition, and further seeking the help of the tribunal to quash the decision of the National Communications Authority (NCA) to impose a fine on their operations.

But the NCA also insists that the four network operators were sanctioned for their non-compliance with various Quality of Service (QoS) requirements.

The Electronic Communications Tribunal, established by the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Act 775 is mandated under the law to consider appeals brought by telecom industry players against decisions or orders made by the National Communications Authority (NCA) or to review a particular matter under a license and decisions of the Dispute Resolution Committee of the Authority.

The telecom providers who seem not to be clear with the course of action taken by the NCA are taking advantage of the Act 775 of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 to drag the regulator to the tribunal with the aim of getting a better understanding and a clearer picture of the action before taking the next line of action.

The Electronic Communications Tribunal is expected to make a ruling on the stay of execution filed by the telecommunication companies next week during its second sitting so as to enable the tribunal deal with the substantive case relating to Quality of Service (QoS).

Within the last quarter of last year, MTN, Glo, Airtel-Tigo, and Vodafone were sanction and fined a total of GH¢34,065,000 by the National Communications Authority (NCA) for poor services to consumers and were given 10th of December, 2018 as deadline for payment. 

AirtelTigo is to pay GH¢11,635,000, Glo, GH¢4,460,000, MTN GH¢9,080,000 and Vodafone GH¢8,890,000.

In a statement released in November last year, the NCA noted that it undertook a quality of Service monitoring in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Northern Regions and two districts in the Ashanti Region in the phase one of a nationwide monitoring exercise. This exercise according to the NCA enabled the Authority to determine the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) which were unable to meet their Licence Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in some District Capitals.

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