Ghana: NCA descends on telcos providing poor service


Three leading telecom companies have again been slapped with penalty totaling GH¢250,000 by the industry regulator, National Communications Authority (NCA), for what it described as “various Quality of Service (QoS) infractions” after a QoS test for March, this year.The companies are MTN, the industry’s market leader and second place Vodafone and tiGO.

According to information posted on the regulator’s website, “MTN was penalised GH¢50,000 for call setup delays in the Central Region and a further GH¢100,000 for call congestion in the Brong Ahafo and Central regions”.

Vodafone, which overtook tiGO to become the second biggest telecom company in terms of subscriber market share, was on the other hand sanctioned to pay GH¢50,000 for Call Setup delays in the Western Region.Third placed-tiGO was slapped with the same amount as in the case of Vodafone as penalty for signaling congestion in the Brong Ahafo Region.

Sanctions to Airtel on call congestion in the Brong Ahafo Region were suspended pending the completion of their expansion plan in Sunyani.Meanwhile, the company has up to end of June this year to complete that project.

In a related development, sanctions according to the NCA to Expresso on call setup delays were also suspended until July this year for infractions in the Eastern Region when coverage is expected to improve in Koforidua.

The company was also directed to improve coverage at Tarkwa by September 2012.Barely six months ago, MTN was fined GH¢300,000 for poor quality service noticed by the regulator in the Upper East and West, Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo regions.

Airtel, at the time, suffered the heaviest fine of GH¢350,000, while Expresso defaulted in its service quality in three regions; Western, Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo.

Vodafone, which also defaulted in its service quality in three regions; Western, Greater Accra and Brong Ahafo, was fined GH¢150,000.

tiGO at the time was fined GH¢100,000 for defaulting in call service in the Western and the three northern regions.

The Telecoms Chamber at the time had expressed misgivings about the fine, saying it was not deliberate for the operators to offer poor services to their customers, particularly at a time when competition among them has heightened.

It blamed the problem on a number of issues including fibre cuts by ongoing construction works in various parts of the country and the stealing of the fibre cables. But the sector Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, has described the excuses of the Chamber as untenable and indicated that much as the government was ready to help ameliorate the challenge, there was the need for the operators to give their customers value for money.