Telecos challenge NCA's GHC34m fine over poor service

Mobile network operators have challenged a GHC34 million fine imposed on them by the National Communications Authority (NCA).

Airtel’s voice subscribers decreased from 5,012,239 as at the end of March 2016 to 4,942,197 as at the end of April 2016, according to the NCA’s report.

AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN, and Vodafone were fined for their non-compliance with various Quality of Service (QoS) requirements.

AirtelTigo is to pay the highest amount of GH¢11,635,000, MTN GH¢9,080,000, Vodafone GH¢8,890,000 and Glo, GH¢4,460,000.

However, the Daily Graphic newspaper is reporting that network operators have refused to pay the penalty and have decided to challenge the decision by petitioning the Electronic Communications Tribunal for redress.

Quoting sources within the sector, the newspaper reports that the telecom companies were not clear with the course of the action taken by the NCA and, therefore, were determined to get a better understanding and a clearer picture of the action before taking the next line of action.

The NCA in its statement sanctioning the companies said that it found from its regular QoS Monitoring in the first quarter of 2018 that there were some infractions of the Licence Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which the telcos have been given.

The QoS monitoring was held at all MNOs MNOs in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Northern Regions, and two districts in the Ashanti Region in phase one of a nationwide monitoring exercise.

After the findings, the NCA held reconciliation meetings with all four mobile network operators and they were given three months ending August 21, 2018, to cure the infractions detected.

At the end of the deadline, the NCA did a follow up monitoring to find out if the QoS infractions recorded had been resolved.

But according to the network operators, much as they, as telcos, believed there might have been some disruptions in service to consumers, there were equally a number of factors that caused those disruptions and the “NCA is aware of them”.

They mentioned some of the disruptions to be fibre cuts by some road contractors all over the country and cable theft among other things and noted that “we do not intend under any circumstances to disrupt services to our customers”.


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