Licensing Regime Of TELCo’s Should Be Reviewed….. Kofi Kapito To Communication Minister, NCA

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) , Kofi Kapito has held a media engagement to press home a demand for the Telecommunication Companies (TELCO’s) in the country to as a matter of urgency, improve on the poor services they currently render to consumers.

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The CPA has the mandate to provide a forum for individuals, communities, and businesses to present concerns and an opportunity for mediation and resolution and consolidate issues to develop consensus.

Addressing the media in Accra yesterday, the CEO of CPA called the attention of the minister of communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful and the National Communications Authority (NCA) to the very poor services being provided by the telcos in recent times.

Mr. Kapito told the media that, the CPA is with the view that with the availability of new Technology, it’s the expectation of Ghanaians that, the services by the telcos should have been improved by now but rather it is getting worse day by day in the country.

He disclosed that, the CPA has received numerous complaints from consumers of the telcos about the various challenges they are facing. Mr. Kapito mentioned some of these challenges as follows; High cost of data, Unsolicited promotions and adverts and Poor network amongst others.

According to Mr. Kapito, the NCA used to conduct a very important test known as the Quality of Service parameters (QoS). Explaining further, he stated that, they have four areas that went into this testing namely;

1. Speech quality or mean opinion Score -it is the measurement of voice quality that has been used in telephony for decades as a way of assessing the human user’s opinion of call quality. The test is widely to ensure quality voice transmission, test for quality issues and measures voice degradation and performance.

2. Call setup time (CST) – call set up time is the length of time it takes from initiating a call to the time the call is delivered or the fraction of the attempts end with a connection to the dialed number. Call setup time thus, measuring this fraction as a percentage of all call attempts.

3. Call congestion rate (CCR)- it is the ease or difficulty with which a consumer is able to get a call through their service provider’s network system. This measurement of the frequency of call congestion is termed as call congestion rate.

4. Call Drop Rate (CDR) it is the frequency in which a consumer’s ongoing call is cut off or disconnected without their permission or knowledge.

5. Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) Congestion Rate- It is the frequency of a consumer’s inability to access a provider’s network for other services such as transmission of data(texting). The measurement of the frequency is termed as Stand-Alone Dedicated Control Channel Congestion rate.

Mr. Kapito hinted, the CPA is aware of the fact that some telcos and some in the industry are not able to use or max-up the spectrum assigned to them whiles other telcos have maxed-up their spectrum and needs more spectrum for them to provide quality service to consumers.

“We are therefore asking the minister in charge of communications to take a look at how to make it possible for the telcos that need more spectrum”, he added

“There has been an instance where a mother lost a daughter because of unsolicited promotions and adverts. She didn’t want to be bothered by these unsolicited messages at night and unfortunately it was her daughter who sent a text message in an emergency”, Mr. Kapito alleged.

According to Mr. Kapito, the NCA is aware of the companies behind this exercise. He appealed to The Controller & Accountant General’s Department to desist from giving out information of government workers to third parties about pay-day loans and bombarding them with household equipments for sale. It is illegal for any entity to give out information about any individual without their consent.

“We are also asking the NCA to take action against the betting companies (NLA) with their unsolicited messages”, he added.

By Kingsley Asiedu

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