The National Communications Authority (NCA) has sanctioned all four mobile network operators for non-compliance with various Quality of Service (QoS) requirements.
The four — AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone — have been fined a total of GHC34,065,000.00.
AirtelTigo was fined GHC11,635,000.00; Glo, GHC4,460,000.00); MTN, GHC9,080,000.00; and Vodafone, GHC8,890,000.00.
The NCA regularly undertakes QoS Monitoring to determine MNOs’ compliance with their licence conditions and to ensure that consumers receive the quality service they have paid for. In the first quarter of this year (2018), the Authority undertook QoS monitoring of all MNOs in the Greater Accra, Eastern, Western, Northern Regions and two districts in the Ashanti Region in the phase one of a nationwide monitoring exercise.
The monitoring enabled the Authority to determine operators that were unable to meet their Licence Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in some District Capitals with regards to QoS: Obligations for Coverage, Data, Voice and Speech Quality.
“As has been the practice, the NCA subsequently held reconciliation meetings with all four MNOs and they were given three (3) months ending 21st August 2018 to cure the infractions detected.
“At the end of the deadline, the NCA embarked on a follow up monitoring to ascertain if the QoS infractions recorded had been resolved. This follows up monitoring revealed that though the KPIs in some District Capitals had improved, the MNOs were not able to meet the KPI thresholds as per their licences. The NCA, as a result, has sanctioned the MNOs,” said a release from the Authority.
“It should be noted that although Voice and Data quality and Coverage obligations were tested, these sanctions are focused on only Voice Services,” the Authority added.
Computation of Sanctions
The NCA has computed the sanctions using the following:
1. Mean Opinion Score (MOS) – MOS sanctions were based on the number of days of infraction using Clause 6.1 of the 3G licence.
2. Call Set Up Time –per the conditions of the Licence for Mobile Cellular Operations applied on a Regional basis.
3. Call Completion Rate – per the conditions of the Licence for Mobile Cellular Operations applied on Regional basis Deadline for Payment of Fines The MNOs must pay the fines within 30 days failing which Section 83 (2) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) will be applied.
The Section provides that “a person who fails to pay a fee, penalty or other levy payable to the Authority within the stipulated time is liable to pay the Authority a fine of a one and half percent of the amount due for each month or part of a month after the stipulated time that the fee, penalty or other levy remained unpaid”.
Status of QoS Monitoring in other Regions
The NCA is currently undertaking a second monitoring to re-evaluate the performance after the initial QoS monitoring for the remaining five Regions, that is, Brong Ahafo, Volta, Upper East, Upper West, Central Regions and the remaining district capitals that were not tested in Q1 in the Ashanti Region.
The NCA will continue to undertake its regulatory duties with the consumer at heart.
These punitive measures are intended to encourage the MNOs to adhere to the Quality of Service parameters as set out in their licence conditions, which will, in turn, result in an improved service experience for the consumer.