NCA urged to monitor mobile operators

Mr. Paarock Asuman VanPercy - NCA Director General
Mr. Paarock Asuman VanPercy – NCA Director General

Dr Edward Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, has called on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to intensify its quality service tests on all telecommunication companies in the country.

This, he said, would serve as a useful guide to subscribers when deciding which mobile telephone operator to engage.

The directive was given during the opening of the 30th Quality of Service Development Group meeting of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in Accra.

The five- day meeting which is being organised in the West African sub-region for the first time brings together experts in the telecommunication sector from all over Africa, to deliberate on how to improve on the quality of service on the continent.

He praised Airtel and Vodafone for putting in place the needed measures to improve on their quality of service to customers.

“Airtel which was in 2011 among the worst offenders in quality delivery has expanded to improve the network and is currently among the top two.

“Vodafone has also improved and for 15 months between 2012 and 2013 went on without failing a single parameter in all regions of Ghana,” he said.

Dr Omane Boamah said the NCA would soon commission its latest state of the art monitoring equipment to evaluate mobile telephony as well as internet services over 3G networks.

He cited the inability of the telecommunications sector to provide satisfactory services to meet the needs of the consuming public as one of the major challenges facing the sector.

“This problem is so pervasive and endemic in Africa that the entire focus of the regulatory authorities are mainly devoted to consumer protection.”

He expressed regret that the membership, participation and contributions from telecom operators in Africa, to influence ITU standards, have remained passive.

He said the NCA in its mandate to ensure consumer protection as well as the  enforcement of compliance to license obligations, had been compelled to invoke penalties on the service providers as well as insist on compensation measures in response to public outcry to deteriorating quality of service and quality of experience.

Issues to be discussed at the meeting include the impact of 3G, 4G, and smart phones on mobile services; impact of fraud, security and revenue assurance on quality of service, and business performance.

Others include: effects of social media services on quality of service; how subscriber registration, counterfeit phones affect quality of service; and how to monitor quality of service in fixed telephony, data networks, mobile networks and on the internet.

Mr Kweku Sakyi-Addo, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, pledged the readiness of telecommunication operators to put in place the needed measures to ensure that telecom subscribers enjoy the best of services in the country.

He said even though internet penetration in Ghana is only 30 per cent, it is one of the highest in Africa.

Mr Sakyi-Addo said efforts are being made by telecom organisations to ensure that more Ghanaians have access to the internet.

He said for the first time this year, the number of smart phone sales had outstripped that of feature phones, adding that handset manufacturers had began shipping below 50- dollar genuine smart phones unto the Ghanaian market.

This, he said, would require a huge bandwidth to be able to accommodate the growing number of phone and internet users in the country.

Source: GNA

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