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Reflex Eco Group – Ghana News

Cephas Larbi (Local journalist)

THE NATIONAL Communications Authority (NCA) has entered into discussions with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) for the implementation of interim measures that will help manage unsolicited electronic communications.

Such intervention by the NCA follows complaints by mobile service subscribers in Ghana on the proliferation of unsolicited electronic communications from MNOs.

Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, Minister of Communications, who announced recently in Accra, said some of the recommendations made include the requirement of mobile network operators to maintain “start” and “stop” for activation and also de-activation of all non-transactional and promotional electronic communications.

He was speaking at the official launch of the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Regional Development Forum (RDF) and Africa Regional Preparatory meeting for the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) in Accra.

“All non-transactional and promotional electronic communications should include an opt-out/un subscription option and should be part of the message. In the area of promotions, each promotional and non-transactional electronic communication should not be sent more than once a day as a means to reduce the incident of subscribers receiving the same message twice a day”, Dr. Boamah stated.

According to him, the telecommunications sector, with its challenges, continues to register impressive growth rate with mobile subscription figures totaling 26,927,872 by the end of May 2013 (an increase of 1.3 percent over April figures).

He said MTN remains the market leader in mobile subscriptions, with a market share of 46 percent which translates into subscriber numbers of 12,283,991.

Vodafone follows next with mobile subscription of 5,728,091 and market share of 21 percent. Tigo, the third in ranking, has a subscriber market share of 14 percent with 3,729,611 subscribers; while Airtel, with 3,350,497 subscribers has a market share of 12 percent.

Glo, the latest entrant, has 1,681,417 subscribers and a 6 percent market share, while Expresso follows with 154,265 subscribers and a market share of 1 percent.

Commenting on broadband development, Dr. Boamah said presently Ghana is served by five submarine cables: SAT-3 Cable; Main One; Glo-1; and WACS Cable which all supplied more than 7.16 terabits capacity.

On 10th May 2013, the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system was inaugurated in Accra, bringing onboard the 5th submarine cable which added 5.1 terabits to increase the overall submarine cable capacity to 12.3 terabits.

Additionally, he said a national terrestrial fibre optic network was being built to cover all the districts and constituencies in Ghana. Furthermore, the Ghana e-Government Platform Project is upgrading existing WIMAX sites to LTE (long-term evolution, a fourth generation standard for high-speed data) and this will involve 90 sites to enable the deployment of advanced ICT applications in education, health, commerce, open government and other business opportunities. Also, Government is supporting the development of critical internet infrastructure by arranging for the supply of three additional switches for internet exchange points and a root name server.

“It is estimated that internet usage in Ghana is nearing 25 percent of the population and this is largely attributed to mobile Internet provided by the telecommunication companies. It is our expectation that with the reducing cost of bandwidth from a high of $10,000 per 2 megabits in 2007 to near $1,200 for same bandwidth in 2013, a significant pass-through effect will be felt on retail prices by the consuming public”.

The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) Regional Development Forum (RDF) will be held on October 1, 2013 ahead of the Africa Regional Preparatory Meeting for the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14) which will be held from 2nd to 4th October 2013 all in Accra.