Telecommunication companies operating in Ghana have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Edward Doe Adjaho to halt the passage of the Interconnect Clearinghouse Bill.
In the petition written and copied to Pulse Business by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, they enumerate what they describe as misrepresentations of the industry in the reasons cited by the NCA for the need to introduce the ICH.
A telecoms Clearinghouse refers to a central platform where calls from different Mobile Network Operators converge for billing and reconciliation to be done. Call data are also produced here.
It is believed that an Interconnect Clearing House will help the Ghana Revenue Authority properly track the number of calls exchanged between the telcos operating in the country in order to properly track total revenues accruing to the telcos from those calls so they can be properly taxed.
The Chamber of Telecommunication Companies, has however described the NCA's assertions as not reflective of the current situations pertaining in the telecommunications industry.
It is based on these assertions by the National Communications Authority, that the joint committees of Finance and Communications recommends for the house to pass the ICH Bill, something that the Telcoms Chamber describes as unfortunate.
The Chambers' first concern is the inadequate market- survey conducted by the NCA in ascertaining the true situation on the ground in relation to interconnectivity between the telecommunications companies operating in the country.
The Chamber says, there is no mention of any evidence- based market study by the National Communications Authority which points to a market failure that warrants the operation of an Interconnect Clearing House.
The Chamber also contested the assertion made by the NCA that an Interconnect Clearing House is needed because of existing interconnect difficulties owing to the differences in service providers' technology and equipment.
According the chamber, no such difficulty exists because telcos do not interconnect at the access level, but at the core level based on international protocols and not equipment and technology types. Therefore the assertion that the interconnect difference exist because of technology and equipment differences is not true.
Below is the full petition by the Telecommunications Chamber: