Industry News Page | Telecoms Chamber



Uganda’s government approved proposals to sell national bonds through the country’s mobile money platforms, a policy politicians believe will increase financial inclusion and widen the country’s range of investors.

In an explanation of the scheme on social media, a Ugandan cabinet representative said it would “enhance distribution capacity” of government securities to individual investors, especially those in rural areas.

It also reduces the concentration of bonds held by international institutional investors. The value of investments set to be offered was not disclosed, nor was notification of which of the country’s mobile money platforms would participate.

The announcement follows a fractious period between the country’s authorities and mobile money providers sparked by the introduction of a controversial tax on transactions at the start of July 2018.

In the first fortnight after the taxes were imposed, the value of funds processed on platforms reportedly sank by UGX672 billion ($182 million).

Uganda’s move to sell bonds is similar to an initiative in neighbouring Kenya, where the government offered a batch of investments through Safaricom’s m-Pesa and Airtel Money platforms in 2017.



Mobile Money

An Ivory Coast consumer association denounced escalating taxes on mobile money transactions in the country and demanded the complete removal of the levies, Le Monde Afrique reported.

In a statement to the newspaper, Jean-Baptiste Koffi, president of the Confederation des Consommateurs de Cote d’Ivoire, said a 7.2 per cent increase in tax rates on mobile money payments and cash transfers damaged the country’s financial inclusion effort.

The federation, which represents ten different consumer groups in the country, stated that less than a fifth of consumers in Ivory Coast have access to bank accounts.

It noted the traditionally low cost of transactions using mobile money services had led to a “dynamic” industry, but the increase in government levies made it “more expensive for consumers to use an accessible service that has started to enter our habits.”

Le Monde Afrique estimates XOF15 billion ($25.8 million) is transacted through mobile money in Ivory Coast on a daily basis.



[caption id="attachment_5342" align="alignnone" width="300"]AirtelTigo CEO CEO of AirtelTigo Mrs Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi cutting a ribbon with Group CEO of iSON BPO Mr. Pravin Kumar to open the call centre[/caption]

Telecom operator AirtelTigo with its partner iSON BPO, an information technology service provider has opened a new call centre located in the Tema metropolis to offer customers a dedicated world-class service.

Boasting the latest technology, the call centre has several workstations, a training room and dedicated online support section. Operating 24-hours to serve customers nationwide, the call center is accessible by calling 100 which also offers self-service options.

In a drive for service excellence, the customer care executives that serve customers have been specially trained in soft skills and call handling techniques to resolve all customer enquiries in a timely manner.

Speaking at the launch, the Chief Executive of AirtelTigo, Mrs Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi, said the opening of the call centre is in line with the company’s vision of “making life better for customers”, adding that the facility will also provide employment opportunities to the youths in Tema and surrounding communities.

She explained that the company remains focused on continuously improving customer service and experience to support the many innovative solutions that AirtelTigo is providing its customers today.

“Our customers can look forward to many initiatives through the course of 2019 that are geared to making our service and solutions simple, transparent and relevant. With this launch today, our customers should expect to receive the most advanced customer care available in this country, supported by professional executives ready to provide excellence in customer service,” she added.

[caption id="attachment_5344" align="alignnone" width="300"]Mitwa Ng'ambi CEO of AirtelTigo Mrs Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi and Group CEO of iSON BPO speaking at the openning of the call centre[/caption]

The Group CEO of iSON BPO, Mr. Pravin Kumar, said: “In line with our philosophy of bringing Intellectual Property (IP) and jobs to people rather than taking people to jobs and IP, we built and started the first-ever call centre with state-of-the-art technology at Tema in 2016 with 220 employees. We have within a short period of two years, provided world-class services and grown our employee strength to 700.”

“In view of our excellent services, we have partnered with AirtelTigo to manage their call centre service. This new call centre has state-of-the-art technology and employed over 200 executives. We are also well-equipped for skill development, workforce management and quality governance facilities.”

He further stated that the policies of the Government of Ghana have motivated the company to open discussion with large multinationals in the US to be able to get some offshore assignments to Ghana. “We are confident that Ghana can be developed as an offshoring destination.”

Source: AirtelTigo


[caption id="attachment_4996" align="alignnone" width="300"]Kenneth Ashigbey Kenneth Ashigbey-CEO of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications[/caption]

Telecommunication companies are considering legal action against individuals, groups and companies whose activities results in fibre cuts of service providers.

This has become necessary because engagements with the National Engineering Coordinating Team to sanitize work around the right of ways and road reservation corridors have not yielded results as telecoms cables and infrastructure continues to suffer great damage.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Chamber, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey lamented the service loss to customers, the incalculable damage to industry reputation and revenue loss to the state as well as mobile network providers.

He decried the worrying trend which he explained spikes up operational costs of the network operators, reduces last mile connectivity and rural expansion projects not-forgetting the effect on the security of the Ghanaian citizen who require uninterrupted telecommunications services.

Perpetrators of Fibre cuts

“Fibre optic cables laid with all requisite fees paid to mandated authorities continue to suffer persistent cuts from road constructions and other private development activities such as property developers, farming activities, other utility providers etc. despite engagements with the National Engineering Coordinating Team to sanitize work around the right of ways and road reservation corridors” he emphasized.

Sharp rise in Fibre cuts

Statistics compiled by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications shows a sharp rise in incessant fibre cuts which is responsible for poor quality of service as well as imposing huge financial burden on service providers.

Negative impact of Fibre cuts

The fibre cuts create network challenges such as call drops, speech mutation, calls not going through, poor voice signals, and degrades user service quality and experience.

This negative development also spikes up operational costs of the network operators, reduces last mile connectivity and rural expansion projects not-forgetting affecting the security of the Ghanaian citizen which requires uninterrupted telecommunications services.

Fibre cuts rise exponentially

According to data from Telcos Chamber, the number of cuts are going up exponentially.

30% rise in fibre cuts in Jan 2019

For example, the number of cuts recorded in January 2018 was 203 but this number jumped by over 30‰ in January 2019

Repairs cost $16m in 2015

The data revealed that it costs over $16 million to repair the damages in 2015.

$400,000 monthly cost of repairs in 2015

This put the monthly average cost of repairs to about $400,000 in 2015.

Repairs cost $700,000 in Jan 2019

However, the statistics revealed that in January 2019, over $700,000 was spent on repair of damages due to fibre cuts.

Repair cost almost doubled

This means that the monthly average cost of repairs has almost double in January 2019 compared to 2015 monthly average figure.

Down time worsens

The statistics also established that the average time for restoring the cuts and the down times are also increasing making the cost in terms of reputation and loss of revenue is incalculable.

Telcos key to development

Mobile telecommunications services are fundamental to the effective functioning of the State as they are critical to national security and for economic and social activities.

However, despite the clear importance of this service, and with its immense infrastructure and meshed networks built to support the deployment of the service, mobile network operators continue to suffer fibre cuts, which disrupt service quality and interrupts the network.

NCA imposes GHC34 fines on Telcos in 2019

Last month, industry regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) imposed fines totalling GHC34million (GHC34, 065,000) on the four telecommunication companies for poor quality of service

AirtelTigo picked up the heftiest fine of GHC11.6 million (GHC11, 635,000).

All other Telcos also received sanctions with Glo being fined GHC4.4 million (GHc4, 460,000), MTN fined GHC9 million (GHc9, 080,000) and Vodafone receiving a GHC9.8 million (GHc8, 890,000) fine.

The companies are in court challenging the fines.

NCA imposes $7m fines in 2018

In November 2018, four telecommunication firms were fined $7 million for poor services.

The fine imposed by Ghana’s National Communication Authority affects MTN AirtelTigo, Glo and Vodafone.

The regulator justified the fines on grounds of non-compliance with various quality service requirements.

Source:Chamber News Desk