Ghana to make $50m yearly from telecoms if…

Ghana would make an additional $50 million every year from in-bound international calls if the country establishes a telephone clearing house that monitors all in-bound international calls.

The telecom companies will also make additional revenue if it is properly implemented, a GNA report has said quoting the Minister of Communications, Mr. Haruna Iddrisu.

The government intends to establish the consolidated telephone clearing house this year to monitor all in-bound international calls in order to check fraud in the operations of the international gateway system.

“The National Communications Authority has been legally empowered to effectively collaborate with telecom operators to work towards the development of a reliable telephone clearing house database,” Mr. Iddrisu said.

He said the system would help control “gray routes” and thereby enhance both operator and revenue generation potential in the domestic and international telecom market place.

He noted that if the system was effectively implemented, it would stem fraud in the pricing of in-bound international calls, particularly in cases where some international calls terminate as local calls and therefore accrue less charge.

“We estimate that if this is done well government will generate an additional US$50 million per annum from in-bound international calls and the telecom operators will also generate additional funds,” he said.

Mr. Iddrisu said the government was committed to ensuring telecom consumer protection by pursuing mobile number portability (MNP) to give consumers choice in the face of poor quality service from some networks.

“It is for instance unacceptable for subscribers to have faced grave network challenges and call drops during the Christmas season,” he said.

He urged telecom operators to pursue voluntary co-location in order to improve quality of service, adding that there was need for intensive public education on the link between telecom masts and quality of service.

Mr. Iddrisu, made the disclosure at the inauguration of an 11-member ministerial advisory board.

He earlier told the GNA that the consolidated system would ensure a uniform charge per minute for all international in-bound calls, which would be pegged at US$0.19 per minute.

Mr. Iddrisu said the system would not affect end users in any way so there was no cause for alarm among subscribers, adding that international roaming systems of the various telecom operators would also not be affected by the system.

Currently six mobile phone companies have been licensed to operate in Ghana. They are MTN, Tigo, Vidafone, Kasapa, Zain and Globacom. Globacom, however is yet to start operation in the country. A Globacom official had told that they are “playing the waiting game.”

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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