The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken immediate steps – which it describes as “corrective measures” – to ensure ultimately that MTN do not dominate the country’s telecommunication sector.
According to a release issued by the Minister of Communications, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, on Monday, the National Telecommunications Policy (NTP) stipulates that any operator with 40 per cent or more market share in voice, data, SMS and value added services like Mobile Money, is considered a Significant Market Power (SMP).
With this designation of SMP, NCA is required to take corrective measures under the law to facilitate more market competition, ensure proper pricing for consumers and facilitate the overall growth of the telecommunications industry.
Despite acknowledging the investments MTN have made in their operations over the years, government notes that their growing dominance has impacted negatively on competition and consumer choice, necessitating corrective action.
Therefore, immediate steps have been taken to “correct this imbalance”.
This has already been made known to all network operators, according to the release, at a stakeholders’ consultative meeting.
The NCA is expected to ensure asymmetrical interconnect rates in favour of disadvantaged operators, set price ceiling on all minutes, data, SMS and money transfers, review and approve all pricing by MTN, particularly, as required by law and ensure that various operator vendors are not subject to “exclusionary pricing or behavior”, among others.
Telcos are also expected to present implementation plans on National Roaming Services within the next 30 days for execution on or before the next 90 days.
“These measures kick in immediately and the NCA is expected to work with all Network Operators who must cooperate to ensure it is done painlessly.”