Ghana’s telecom industry regulator, the National Communications Authority, is being urged to crack the whip if the need be on mobile network providers who persistently flout the quality of service standards of the industry with impunity.
The Dean of the Network of Communications Reporters, Charles Benoni Okine, trusts that when such strict punitive measures are carried out against telcos in Ghana, it will help sanitize the system and would go a long way to also help advance quality of service delivery for the benefit of consumers.
Addressing key industry players at the Maiden Stakeholders Dialogue Series organized by the Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) in partnership with MTN Ghana on the ‘Moving Service Quality to Service Excellence’ at the plush Swiss Alisa Hotel in Accra, Mr. Benoni Okine noted with regret the rampant call drops, poor sound quality and signaling delays, fair and transparent pricing and value for money have been downplayed by not only network operators but also the regulator and policy makers.
Emphasizing the huge impact of the telecommunications industry to the national economy, the Dean of the Network of Communication Reporters is of the opinion that such immense act of benevolence to the Ghanaian economy should not be allowed to compensate for the frustrations that consumers go through.
“No one in Ghana is oblivious to the significant role ICT services, especially telecom services have played in improving livelihood in this country. For instance, the thousands of jobs created directly and indirectly in the sector is worthy of note. However, these cannot offset or compensate for the frustrations that consumers go through in accessing the service. I have always maintained that consumers made a lot of sacrifices in the early days of the liberalization, putting up with real shoddy services, hoarding of SIM cards and over-selling SIMS when the base stations or network infrastructure remained the same. We at NCR believe the times we are in are for the consumer to enjoy excellent services; it is never the time for them to suffer another round of challenging services that lower customer and user experience of telecom services,” he intimated.
According to him, the fluctuations in signal quality within the same area and the inexplicable loss of data and airtime on consumer’s gadgets are common complaints that are easily explained away by the operators without improvement in service provision, which includes transparency issues and public education, especially during the age of smartphones.
“We understand there are some structural challenges that need to be resolved to make ICT service provision better. But when a service that was better before and gave us high hopes of being the best gets deteriorated, it becomes very frustrating. There are claims that the presence of an Interconnect Clearing House has impacted negatively on the provision of service quality. While this may be true, the consumer cares less about such turf wars. All that they want is improvement in service quality and it is the job of us stakeholders gathered here today to fix the challenges,” he said.
Mr. Okine then called on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to emulate the fine example set by the banking industry regulator, the Bank of Ghana who in some few weeks back withdrew the licenses of two indigenous UT Bank and Capital Bank from the system due to non compliance to the financial sector regulations and act same.
“Finally, a few weeks ago, the Bank of Ghana, a regulator cracked the whip. Capital Bank and UT Bank are now known as (CAPUT). This is after it had been sleeping for many years and the financial services sector nearly suffered. We do not wish same for the telecom sector but we also want the NCA to stop barking and bit where necessary for the sake of customers. Customers spend money and they must get value for it. Once we pay we expect something better,” he noted.
Source: therepublicnewsonline.com/ Nana Appiah Acquaye