Ghana’s Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has instructed telecom regulator NCA to commence implementing specific policies to ensure a level-playing field for all network operators within the country’s telecom industry.
According to a statement issued and signed by the Minister in Accra, the National Communications Authority is to enforce the provisions of the Electronic Communications (EC) Act 2008 and the National Telecommunications Policy to address glaring disparities in market and revenue share in the sector.
Pointing to the growing market imbalance and creation of a near monopoly in the country’s telecom sector, Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained how if allowed to exist, the country would be exposed to the dictates of the dominant operator and this would negatively impact on competition and choice for the consumer as well as investments within the sector.
“The policy is therefore aimed at ensuring proper and healthy competition among telecommunications players, secure a much better pricing policy for the consumers and facilitate a sound regulatory regime,” she stated.
NCA’s functions and duties in this regard are outlined in the National Communications Authority Act 769 of 2008, Section 3e of which states that, “the Authority shall ensure fair competition amongst licensees, operators of communications networks and service providers of public communications.”
Going by the Minister’s directive, the NCA is expected to review and approve all pricing by the SMP as required by law, ensuring various operator vendors are not subject to exclusionary pricing or behaviour and asymmetrical interconnect rate in favour of the disadvantaged operators among others.