Vice President Mahama officially launches Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications
Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Tuesday launched the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications with a call on operators to scale up investment to boost the provision of data services to enhance revenue and spur economic growth.
He said the current over reliance on the provision of voice services for the bulk of revenue was not in the best interest of the companies, saying the competitive environment was putting pressure on revenue.
Currently, mobile telecommunication operators obtain 90 per cent of their revenue from voice and 10 per cent from data and text messages.
Vice President Mahama said establishment of the chamber would provide operators, government and regulators the opportunity to dialogue on policies and projects necessary to move the communication sector forward in the collective interest of subscribers.
He urged the Chamber to promote local content among the operators and encourage them to list some of their holdings on the Ghana Stock Exchange so that Ghanaians could fully participate in the gains.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, asked the operators to improve on their services as government would not accept the slightest disruption of services.
He said the Government would work hand in hand with the operators and the regulator to shape policies that would promote and engender the provision of quality service to consumers.
Mr Kwaku Sakyi-Addo, Chief Executive Officer of the Chamber, said operators were worried about exorbitant levies being demanded by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs), from the telecommunication companies for General Utility Excavation Permit, cost of infrastructure permit and Business Operating Licence and other services.
He said the issue was alarming because the assemblies did not charge other services providers the same amount for such permits.
Mr Sakyi-Addo said theft and destruction of cables from road constructions was affecting quality of service and costing the companies GH¢140,000 a month to repair the cables.
He called on the Government to review the 20 per cent import duty on phone chips, adding that the posture of revenue maximisation could serve as a disincentive for entry by other operators.
Mr Sakyi-Addo pledged the commitment of operators to the provision of good quality service and would work with the authorities to reduce conflict between industry and the regulators.