Consumer agency to take Ghana mobile operators to court over SIM card registration


The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has threatened to go to court to enforce government’s directive to mobile telecommunication operators to register SIM cards sold to their subscribers.

The CPA, a consumer rights advocate, said refusal of the operators to comply with the directive constituted a national security threat because many people were using unidentified phone numbers to engage in dubious activities.

These were contained in a petition to the Minister of Communications in Accra on Thursday and copied to the Office of the President. The CPA said if SIM cards were registered, it would be easy for the National Security to identify individuals who generated text messages to cause the earthquake scare among the public last Sunday, January 17.

The petition said a CPA survey conducted late last year revealed that mobile telecommunication operators had been exploiting the Ghanaian consumer by charging high tariffs despite providing poor services. “Telecommunication service providers in Ghana are charging almost 450 per cent above prices being charged by some of these service providers in other European countries,” it said.

The petition said it was expected that Vodafone’s entry into the industry would have led to increased competition resulting in provision of quality service at affordable rates but that was not the case.

It said that instead, the cost of broad band service of all the operators in the country was twice more expensive compared to similar service in Europe. On emergency access lines, the statement said that the government failed to establish a centre which would handle such calls rendering the provision of such lines unproductive.