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Telecoms Chamber not happy with regulator’s GH¢1.2m fine on five mobile phone operators

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The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications have reacted to the imposition of penalties by the National Communication Authority (NCA) on five mobile phone operators.

Derek Barnabas Laryea, Research and Communications Manager of the Chamber on Tuesday issued a statement in response to a media report on the issue, which focused on a total GH¢1.2 million penalty imposed on the operators by the NCA, the industry regulator, for “poor service”.

It said the robust competition in the mobile industry in Ghana leaves operators little room for poor services by any player, which expects to survive and justify its huge investments.

The statement said mobile operators in Ghana have consistently raised concerns over the key quality of service indicators used by the NCA and the Chamber is currently in discussions with the regulator for a review.

“Those discussions are on-going, and therefore the Chamber is surprised by the decision of the NCA to go public on this subject.”

It said: “Whereas Telecom operators share the NCA’s desire to ensure that subscribers in Ghana have the same quality of service as pertains in developed countries, there are many external factors within the Ghanaian environment, which make such a desire difficult to attain, despite consistent committed efforts by operators.”

These factors include electric power outages, theft of diesel from back-up generators and cable cuts. The problem of fibre cuts is of major concern and the Telecoms Chamber is currently working with the Ghana Highways Authority, Department of Urban Roads and road contractors to minimise the occurrence.

The statement said concerns about radiation from telecom masts, though not borne out by scientific facts, have also affected the roll out of cell sites in some communities.

“Metropolitan, Municipal ad District Assemblies, levy astronomical charges on telecom infrastructure, with massively discriminatory disparities compared to those imposed on other industries. These charges inhibit the roll-out of infrastructure and have an impact on quality of service.

It said the Telecoms Chamber and its members have persistently drawn the attention of the NCA and other responsible authorities to the effect these problems have on quality of service.

“We had, over the past several months, chosen the path of dialogue with the institutions and agencies concerned and we look forward to a speedy resolution, “the statement said.

Source: GNA

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