Ghana telecoms market leader MTN, and small player Expresso have been fined a total of GH¢250,000 for quality of service breaches in three regions during the month of February  this year.

Last year, all the five telecoms companies were fined a total of GH¢1.2 million for similar breaches across country, but this time round Airtel, Tigo and Vodafone passed the test in the Ashanti, Eastern, and Western region, but MTN and Expresso were found wanting.

A statement on the National Communications Authority’s (NCA) website indicated that MTN was fined GH¢150,000 and Expresso got a GH¢100,000, which was suspended on condition that it would erect a mast in Tarkwa to improve service in that area.

The sanction, according to the NCA, was based on findings on Quality of Service in the three regions, based on assessment done on Stand–alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) Congestion, Call Set up Time (CST), Call Congestion Rate (CCR) and Call Drop Rates (CDR).

It said Vodafone, Tigo and Airtel were in compliance in the three regions on all parameters, but MTN violated Quality of service standards, specifically Call Set up in Ashanti and Western Regions, and Call Congestion.

“Expresso defaulted in Call Set up Time in Ashanti and Western Regions but has been directed to build a new site in Tarkwa to improve coverage in the Municipality in lieu of a suspended penalty of GH¢100,000,” it said.

The regulator noted that as per the Cellular Mobile License Obligations, the QoS indicators and their respective thresholds were assessed on users’ perspectives.

The NCA said it monitored and analyzed the performance of mobile operators in the country every month to assess the user experience using the mobile voice service, adding that this was conducted in order to direct improvement in their Quality of Service (QoS).

“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,” it said.

The regulator said its topmost priority was to provide best-in-class mobile services to consumers in line with its vision of creating and maintaining an efficient, transparent and business friendly telecom environment to enable Ghana become the premier destination of ICT investment.

By Samuel Nii Narku Dowuona

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