Trouble looms at Ghana Telecom
Trouble looms at Ghana Telecom Website
GYE NYAME Concord’s sources at Ghana Telecom, operators of OneTouch mobile telephony, hints that there is growing anger and anxiety over what they term as NCA’s unfair and bias against the state-owned telecommunication company. A tip-off of their discontent was expressed in a press statement issued by the Corporate Communications Department of the company in response to the recent press statement by the National Communications Authority (NCA) that criticised the quality of service by MTN together with OneTouch, and as a result directed Ghana Telecom to improve upon its service or face “severe sanctions”. The response which was concise, read in its opening; “Ghana Telecom would like to express its shock and disappointment at the NCA’s press statement and directive”. Sources say Ghana Telecom is unhappy with the NCA’s actions particularly at a time when Ghana Telecom is being privatized with the “strategic investors” in the country undertaking due diligence. The response continued; “Ghana Telecom is not in violation of the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that govern its operations”. To this end, Ghana Telecom is said to be at a loss as to why NCA would come out with such a statement and directive when the NCA itself admits in its press statement that OneTouch was not in violation as regards to the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that controls their operations. Another worry expressed by Ghana Telecom is the NCA’s issuance of Conditional Gateway Licenses to Ghana Telecom’s competitors (privately-owned telecommunication companies) in the country which under normal circumstances, according to the sources, should be the preserve of the state-owned GT. Intelligence experts who spoke to Gye Nyame Concord when this paper sought their views confirmed that issuing Gateway License to privately-owned telecommunication companies can undermine the security of the state, noting that there is nowhere under the sun, except in Ghana, that a sovereign state would issue a gateway telecommunication operation license to a foreign interest or a private company to compete with a state-owned enterprise. Gye Nyame Concord’s checks revealed that some of the private telecommunication companies in the country issued with such licenses are operating from rented apartments and do not even have indigenous Ghanaians on their Boards. Many say this amounts to utmost disrespect to the good people of this country and that it is not in the interest of the national economy. On the 10th of October this year, the National Communications Authority (NCA) came out with a press statement and directives on what it termed, poor quality of service by MTN and OneTouch, the two leading mobile telephony service providers in the country. The NCA said: “In our market assessment, both qualitative and quantitative we have concluded that the services of MTN and OneTouch need improvement, particularly when these parties carry Eighty-Eight percent (88%) of total mobile network traffic”. The statement emphasized; “MTN’s network in particular has to drastically improve to address their growing traffic and resultant complaints of various types by the public. We call on the Management of MTN to rectify the quality of service problems, particularly their on-net challenges by November 8, 2007. With respect to systems inter-connect, the continuing challenges posed by the MTN and OneTouch to mutually provision circuits in a timely manner to match the growing traffic between them,…” However, Ghana Telecom contends that its market share, which is 19% together with MTN’s 52% does not amount to that 88% claim by NCA and is said to have challenged NCA to come out clear on what OneTouch has done wrong to deserve the ‘punishment’. The NCA further directed that “Accordingly, we have issued directives to industry as a whole, but OneTouch and MTN in particular: To clean up their acts within the next thirty days, ending November 8th 2007, or face severe sanctions; OneTouch must release sufficient E1s to MTN to ensure free flow of traffic by end of business day, October 19th, 2007…” OneTouch is said to maintain its stance that it has been operating within the confines of the regulations of the industry and that the various complaints by the general public were not against OneTouch. Rather, those complaints were about other mobile network operators.
Source: gye nyame concord