Minister of Communication Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has challenged mobile network operators in the country to up their game by improving the delivery of quality of service as a way of giving customers value for money.

Speaking on the theme ‘Moving from Service Quality to Service Excellence’ at the Maiden Stakeholders’ Dialogue Series organised by the Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) in partnership with MTN Ghana, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said she believed that with complaints made by subscribers across the board, it had become necessary for the regulator and network operators to consider coming together to work out a plan to reduce the incidence of poor quality of service delivery.

“I am entreating the National Communication Authority (NCA) to consider such engagements with stakeholders as a sounding box for regulatory action and for policy advice. They should be included in the discussions of the Industry Forum and other consultation meetings that will provide opportunity for the people’s voices to be heard. It is the openness in the sector’s activities and transparency in the conduct of our affairs that will be tribute to His Excellency President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo,” the Minister stressed.

The Minister acknowledged muted voice calls and muffled voice (poor sound quality) as some of the complaints raised by most subscribers  and called for  a closer collaboration between key stakeholders within the telecoms sector and the news media to collectively create the necessary public awareness to the opportunities that Information Communication Technology brings to enhance self-development, entrepreneurship, job creation, citizen empowerment and national development.

“I must say that subsequently, I have come to appreciate the value of our stakeholders promoting Ghana’s march to an information-rich and knowledge-based society and I welcome the commitment of the networks to focus on ICT reporting. In our rapidly changing technology environment, we rely on our partnership with the news media to disseminate the right information to help educate the citizenry on the essentials of ICT development,” she noted.

In his remarks, the Director in charge of Regulatory Administration at the National Communications Authority, Kofi Datsa, revealed that as part of efforts especially on the part of the industry regulator to ensure the delivery of quality of service to subscribers, the regulator had established quality of service indicators for operators and service providers and hinted that these are monitored once every quarter in all metropolises and twice a year in all Districts within the country.

“We have also purchased ultra-modern equipment we use in monitoring the network. This gives us a clear picture of what is happening at the MNOs’ end,” he said.

Mr. Datsa mentioned that a new complaints management system had been put in place by the NCA to encourage consumers to voice their dissatisfaction and track the status of their complaints.

“We believe that people do not have to come all the way to Accra to interact with the Authority. To decentralise our operations, the Authority opened seven regional offices in Kumasi, Takoradi, Ho, Sunyani, Koforidua, Tamale and Bolgatanga. The objective is to enable the Authority bring its services closer to the communities and also to facilitate effective monitoring of spectral resources as well as the quality of service delivered by operators to their consumers in the regions,” he stated.

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