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NCA to set up lab to test communication equipment

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NCAThe National Communications Authority (NCA) is to set up an ultra-modern laboratory to test all electronic communication equipment to improve standardisation in the country and West Africa.

According to Mr William Tevie, NCA Director General, the authority is also working with other technical institutions to help realize the vision of a fully networked society, where users would be able to access high speed services anytime, anywhere over any safe devices.

Mr Tevie made this known in a speech read on his behalf, at a Type Approval and Dealership Licensing workshop in Accra.

Type Approval of equipment ensures that no sub-standard equipment which may present health and safety hazards to users and electronic communication infrastructure are allowed in Ghana.

The workshop which attracted players in the telecommunications industry, dealers in the sale and manufacturing of equipment, the Consumer Protection Agency among others, was on the theme: “Compliance with electronic communication Standards.”

Participants were schooled on topics such as the Dealership Licensing Regime by the NCA, Port Inspection and Clearance Procedures, Digital Terrestrial Television, Standards and Conformance Certification of Receivers, Procedures for Equipment Confiscation and list of offences.

Under its mandate, the NCA is to ensure that all electronic communication equipment manufactured or imported into the country for sale or use are in compliance with health and safety and provide electromagnetic compatibility.

The NCA boss noted that digitization of the country’s economy and society is accelerating at an unstoppable pace and it requires committed partnerships not only with traditional telecom actors but other more relevant players to instil trust and ensure security.

He said the NCA is poised to be the driving force pushing forward the frontiers of the future Information Communication Technology (ICT) and telecom standardisation in the sub region.

“The NCA will continue to undertake surveillance to ensure compliance to the Type Approval regime. Non-compliance by falsely claiming to have Type approval is punishable under the Electronic Communication Act,” he added.

Mr Tevie noted that standards are essential for international communications and global trade and because the telecom and ICT sector has been characterised with innovation there is the need to attain standards to regulate its fast paced nature.

He said the NCA understands the pervasive nature of ICT and the power of technology in transforming the telecommunication industry as well as creating opportunities for people in life.

He indicated that while these technologies are becoming increasingly abundant, “we must ensure that we use them responsibly and with caution especially, in order to avoid accidents, injuries and safeguard our health and hard earned investments”.

He said the NCA over the years has undertaken various initiatives in the standardisation space to ensure safety, conformance and interoperability such as the development of an online portal for Type Approvals, Constitution of a National Technical Committee on Telecommunications and ICT Equipment Standards also known as TC 24, under the auspices of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) as some of the initiatives.

Mr Robert Apaya, Senior Manager, Legal Department, NCA, who took participants through the implications of smuggling of equipment and procedure of equipment confiscation, urged the public to seek clarification with the Authority when they are not clear about the law.

He said the law which would bite when people do not seek authorisation before assembling plants and systems was not meant to discourage firms from assembling plants locally.

Mr Apaya urged the public to report to the NCA all unregistered and unapproved communication equipment suspected to have been fixed in places.

Source: GNA

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