Telecoms Chamber appoints new CEO

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The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications has announced the appointment of Kenneth Ashigbey as Chief Executive Officer. He assumes duty on November 1st 2017.

Kenneth joins the Chamber from the Graphic Communications Group Limited, where he was the Managing Director. He was previously the CEO at Optimum Media Prime (OMP) and also worked as the Chief Technology Officer at the Multimedia Group Ltd.


Ms. Yolanda Cuba, Chair of the Chamber, said “we welcome Kenneth to the Chamber. With a customer base of more than 19 million unique subscribers in Ghana, the mobile industry continues to change how we communicate. We look forward to working with Ken to deliver a lot more excitement to customers.”

On his part Kenneth said, “I am honored to be joining the industry at such a time of significant opportunities, despite the progress made. The Chamber will continue to positively impact the lives of Ghanaians by advocating for the right policy, legal and regulatory environment.”

He is appreciative of the tremendous work done by his predecessor, Kwaku Sakyi Addo and remains confident that “together, we can build on that”.

Kenneth holds an MBA from the Leicester University and a Bachelor Degree in Electrical Engineering from the KNUST.

Media Contacts:
For the Chamber
Derek B. Laryea
Head, Communications & Research
+233-302730500

NCA gives approval for Airtel-Tigo merger

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has given approval for the merger between Bharti Ghana Limited (Airtel) and Millicom Ghana Limited (Tigo) to proceed subject to some conditions.

This merger will result in an entity which will be the second largest mobile network operations in the country.

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The merger, which was first announced in March this year, required the regulator to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the application and the regulatory ecosystem.

To ensure efficient and equitable distribution and access to the spectrum, the merged entities will have to submit a network integration plan to the Authority which will indicate how they intend to relinquish portions of their total spectrum allocation.

This, however, will be done in phases on geographical area basis and over a period not exceeding 18 months to avoid disruptions on the network.

On the issue of numbers, the merged entity shall retain all the numbering resources held by the merging entities. The NCA has also requested the merged entity to submit a plan to educate customers about changes and related measures within 30 days from the date of merger.

The merger approval is also conditioned with an option for Government participation.

Based on agreements which have been accepted by the merging entities and the payment of relevant fees, a supplementary agreement to the licences of the merging entities will be signed between the NCA and the merging entities; the day of the signing of the agreement will be the effective date of the merger.

The merged entity will have a 3G Licence valid until January 25, 2024, while their 2G Licence will be valid until October 30, 2021.

The NCA wishes to assure all stakeholders, especially consumers, that their various interests will be protected and that the Authority will endeavor to maintain stability within the industry.

NCA permits Telcos to Rollout 3G in Rural Ghana

Accra, 7th September, 2017

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has taken a regulatory decision to permit Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) with existing 2G Licences to deploy Universal Mobile Telecommunications Systems (UMTS), which is a 3G technology, in unserved and underserved communities across the country. The decision is expected to result in increased data access to areas which hitherto were not covered by MNOs with 3G services. The decision was announced at a media briefing addressed by the Acting Director General of the NCA, Joe Anokye in Accra.

Joe NCA

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third generation (3G) technology. It is deployed using the 900MHz frequency band which was originally assigned for the deployment of 2G services (GSM) in Ghana. The UMTS technology was originally authorised in the 2100MHz frequency band.

Addressing the media, Joe Anokye said the UMTS technology makes it easier for telcos to expand their data coverage with minimum costs especially as they can be deployed over a large area at less costs. The UMTS technology also opens up the space for telcos to reach out to folks in areas where hitherto they will not because of the costs in deploying base stations there.

Joe Anokye said the benefits of allowing telcos to deploy UTMS is particularly beneficial to consumers. “With this, we will be promoting digital inclusion in Ghana and in the process customers in unserved & underserved areas will see the immense benefits especially as they see improvement with their access to data and data services, additionally, since this will lead to a maximization of spectrum use. It will lead to enhanced, consistent 3G user experience and reduce 3G coverage black spots”, he said, adding that the technology will also introduce choice and competition for the consumer while increasing data penetration, improved spectral efficiency and improve handover problems.

The Ag. Director General stressed that the heart of this decision is the consumer and that the NCA will monitor the UTMS deployment to ensure that all these benefits that have been penned down for the ultimate benefit of the consumer will come to fruition. He said, communication is essential for development so ultimately this will go a long way to support government initiatives to bring development to the rural areas.

The Authorisation to provide 3G services in the 900MHz band will be granted for specific areas upon application by a telco. The NCA will however give regard to unserved and underserved areas in considering the applications. MNOs will receive an Authorisation and not a Licence. The NCA has waived Application and Authorisation Fees or Charges for this service to interested telcos whiles authorisation will be for the unexpired term of the applicant’s 2G Licence.

The Chamber of Telecommunications will analyze the impact of this announcement and make its position public in due course.

 

Chamber Research Head wins GITTA Award

The Head of Research and Communications at the Ghana Chamber of Telecoms has been awarded the Young ICT Ambassador at the 7th Ghana Information Technology and Telecoms Awards for his contribution to the telecom industry.

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Mr. Laryea receiving his award from the Communications Minister

Derek Laryea, was very instrumental in the set-up of the Telecoms Chamber and has actively been involved in its running following the exit of the first CEO, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo.

The award, according to the organisers, took cognizance of the role played by Mr. Laryea who before joining the Chamber worked as a Reputation Research Administrator of Scancom (MTN) Ghana, where he was actively involved in the coordination, implementation and evaluation of MTN’s community-based projects and social marketing campaigns.

Over the last six years, he has been an active member within the telecoms industry negotiating and helping to direct telecommunications policy, legislation and regulation, and pursuing research towards the development of telecommunications in Ghana.

Mr. Laryea currently serves as the Taxation Working Group Head for the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) an NGO which is lobbying governments to facilitate improvement in ICT policies/regulations that will enable the private sector to be incentivized to help spread Internet coverage for use by all at affordability rate.

Mr. Laryea who holds a Masters in Financial Management from Coventry (UK), is currently a member of the Institute of Directors (IOD) and a Regulatory Impact Assessment Professional.

The awards recognized the efforts by individuals and institutions playing an outstanding role within the Telecoms and the broader information technology industry.

The ceremony which had MTN picking up 10 awards, the biggest haul of the night, was powered by InstinctWave.

The awards represent the most respected accolade in the industry, celebrating excellence in innovation, product development and service delivery.

This year the awards expanded to recognize various government agencies deploying ICT to improve service delivery such as the Electricity Company of Ghana, Bank of Ghana among others.

According to Akin Naphtal CEO of InstinctWave, “more categories were created for government ministries agency and department to promote and reward government efforts on digitization of the economy.”