The National Communication Authority (NCA) has slapped a GH?900,000 fine on five mobile phone network operators for providing telecom services to consumers below the set benchmark for quality service.

MTN and Glo received the heftiest fine of GH?300,000 each, while Expresso, Airtel, and tiGO got GH?100,000 fines each for violating Quality of Service standards during the first quarter quality of service monitoring studies.

The operators were charged and found liable on various counts, including defaulting
Call congestion, Call Setup Time and Signalling congestion obligations in the Northern, Volta, Ashanti, Upper West and Upper East and Eastern Regions.

Meanwhile, Vodafone has been found to be in compliance with all parameters of the Quality of service standards, including the Call Set up Time, Call Congestion Rate and Call Drop Rates.

The Quality of Service standards test is carried out by the NCA to assess the service provision standards from consumers? perspective in an attempt to enhance services provided by the network operators.

According to the NCA, the Authority monitors and analyses the performance of mobile operators in the country every month to assess the user-experience of voice services in order to direct improvement in their Quality of Service.

The monitoring also enhances NCA?s understanding of current problems faced by consumers to enable it work more closely with operators to improve customer experiences.

The Quality of Service monitoring began following incessant complaints from consumers who have over the years expressed their dissatisfaction with the poor quality of service offered by the mobile phone network operators.

Policymakers have in recent times described the service standards offered to telecom consumers as unacceptable and unjustifiable as the network operators have used challenges confronting the sector ? including poor energy supply, fibre-cuts and fuel-theft ? as excuses for poor service delivery.

Recently, telecom operators and infrastructure providers have pinpointed poor energy supply, fibre-cuts and fuel-theft as the topmost challenges threatening their delivery of quality service in the country.

The operators contend that frequent disruption of network infrastructure and increasing utilities rates, which do not match service improvement, are impacting negatively on quality service delivery and operating expenses of telecom operators.

In March this year, the number of mobile phone subscriptions reached 26.4 million, which means that cable infrastructure to carry traffic and data services is critical for the six network operators to meet current demand for speed and capacity.

Souce: B&FT

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