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Jun 10, 2015

Minister tells telecommunication regulators to set reliable standards


Dr Edward Omani Boamah, Minister of Communications, on Monday charged sub-region telecommunications regulators to set reliable stands that might reflect requirements and the needs of the sub- region and the countries where they operate.

He said customers have become very sophisticated and more interested in the kind of experience they receive upon using a service and not the network performance or functionality which might affect their experience.

Hence, as operators and regulators of the industry, the goal should be how to achieve quality of experience.

The Minister said this in a speech read on his behalf at the opening of a five-day Mobile Number Portability (MNP) and Quality of Service Workshop, organised by West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA) in collaboration with National Communications Authority (NCA) for members.

The workshop is to understudy Ghana’s Mobile Number Portability operations and also to tap into Ghana’s knowledge and experience of quality of service in telecommunications.

Ghana, Togo, Dakar, Niger, Mali, Burkina Faso, Benin, Guinea, Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire, and representatives of telecoms are attending the workshop.

Dr Boamah said to achieve quality of service, excellent standards with clear baseline targets should be set in consultation with service providers with stringent enforcement measures in order to meet the demands of consumers for the projected development of the telecommunications industry.

“The standards may be effective when drawn to include all key performance indicators that are clearly linked to the performance of the Network,” he added.

He noted that service providers need to monitor the network to ensure that their consumers are enjoying very high quality service as guarantee by the terms of their contract.

They also need to include quality of service aspects of complaint handling and customer care mechanisms as part of their own internal monitoring measurements, he said.

He said the Ghana NCA routinely carry out quality of service test and make the result available to providers, and those who fail are sanctioned as deterrent to others.

Dr Boamah said he has been following the activities of WATRA and was impressed by its efforts to promote the growth of telecommunications within the ECOWAS sub-region and recommended the Assembly for the sacrificial task and encouraged them to continue to exchange country experiences in the regulation of the sector.

Mr Albert E. Enninful, Deputy Director General of NCA, said Ghana’s success in MNP is unmatched and touted globally.

He said the development has been a very remarkable feet in the sub-region.

The success of MNP, could not be understated as less than four years since its introduction, the service has gained momentum with more than two million successful porting requests processed as at February this year and with ports taking place in less than six minutes.

He attributed the success to advance preparations and rigours testing and monitoring by all the stakeholders.

“The unparalleled collaboration amongst all the key stakeholders: NCA; Porting Access Ghana (the MNP service provider); and the mobile network operators has helped in the attainment of this feet,” he said.

Mr Enninful said the telecommunications sector being very dynamic and evolutionary requires the continuous training and retraining of staff of regulatory institutions to keep their staff abreast of technological changes and build their competencies and technological-know-how to effectively regulate and monitor the telecoms space.

He said MNP today has become an essential tool for deepening competition in the telecommunications market as it affords the customer a very unique opportunity and choice to move from one telecom operator to another without having to change the mobile telephony number.

He therefore expressed Ghana’s readiness to share her experiences.

Elhadji Maman Naminou, Executive Secretary of WATRA said the Assembly with 50 members aimed to increase affordable and high quality of service of telecommunications industry.

He commended Ghana for her strive in the industry and achieving success in MNP operations.

He noted that Ghana is leading the telecommunications industry in the sub- region and commended the participants for their interests and enthusiasm to assist Assembly to achieve its goals. – GNA