A recent GH¢ 34million sanction against four Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in the country by the National Communications Authority (NCA) has sparked controversy among players within the telecom sector.
While the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications is yet to state its position of on the sanction placed on it members, some of the affected operators have expressed their displeasure against the punitive measure from the regulator.
After completing its nationwide Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring of all network providers, the National Communications Authority (NCA) slapped AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone with a fine of GH¢34,065,000.00 for their non-compliance with various Quality of Service requirements.
Among the four telcos AirtelTigo was the worst affected as it was saddled with the heaviest fine of over GH¢11.6million followed by MTN’s GH¢9million, Vodafone’s GH¢8.8million and Glo, GH¢4.4million.
Even though operators have been threatened with the application of the Section 83 (2) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) which provides that “a person who fails t o pay a fee, penalty or other levy payable to the Authority within the stipulated time is liable to pay the Authority a fine of a one and half percent of the amount due for each month or part of a month after the stipulated time that the fee, penalty or other levy remained unpaid,” by the NCA should they fail to pay within the stipulated time, they strongly are of the view that the fines are harsh and need to be reconsidered.
Speaking to members of the Network of Communications Reporters during a courtesy call paid on him at his office after the sanction, the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, disclosed that the imposition of fine on operators is not the right mechanism to achieve excellence in service quality.
He noted that before the fine, MTN Ghana was in talks with the regulator in which a number of things including what goes into doing the assessment of the criteria of Quality of Service were been discussed, and so could not understand why a fine should be imposed on MTN whilst discussions were ongoing.
“We’ve been aware of the drive test that was done in August this year for which the results will suggest that MTN did not pass the QoS test. But we’ve been discussing with the NCA a number of things that we also thought should be taking into consideration in doing the assessment of quality of service, and we don’t believe that discussions have advanced enough before the fine was imposed. So what we’ve done is to reengage the regulator and hopefully we’ll have a meeting in the next few days, to try to understand a little bit better some of the detail behind the actual fine, the value and what goes into it and from there we could have much more concrete position on what this mean for the business,” he said.
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/ www.adrdaily.com