Electronic Communication Tribunal set to rule on injunction plea in case between telcos and NCA

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

The Electronic Communication Tribunal has set Thursday the 31st of January, 2019 to give its ruling on an injunction filed against the National Communications Authority (NCA) by four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The Tribunal is adjudicating a dispute between four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the National Communication Authority (NCA) over a GH 34million fine.

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 cancel the decision of the National Communications Authority (NCA) to impose a fine on their operations.

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

During it second sitting in Accra yesterday, the NCA legal team represented by lawyer Robert Appaya petitioned the court to overturn the stay of execution being sought for by network operators.

He claimed that allowing or ruling in favor of the telcos will go a long way not only to undermine the powers of the regulator but also disenfranchise many customers in the country.

But the President for the Ghana Bar Association Lawyer Anthony Forson, representing MTN Ghana and the legal litigation team from Vodafone Ghana in their respective submissions pleaded with the tribunal to grant the network providers their plea for an injunction to enable them gets a better understanding and a clearer picture of the action taken against them by the regulator.

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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