Glo Slapped With $200,000 Penalty
4/25/2012 8:00:37 AM -
GLO Mobile Ghana, the sixth licensed mobile operator in the country, has been slapped with a penalty of $200,000 or its cedi equivalent by the National Communications Authority (NCA) for failing to commence commercial operations three years after it was granted licence.
Failure on the part of the company to redeem the fine would attract another $100,000 annually or its cedi equivalent in the preceding year.
Should the company continuously flout the demands of the licence, the industry regulator would be forced to withdraw its licence.
This is the second time in less than a year that the NCAâ€ˆhas descended heavily on players in the industry for failing to adhere to the licence conditions.
The previous one involved various fines imposed on five operators for their failure to offer quality services to their customers in certain parts of their operational jurisdiction.
Communications Minister, Haruna Iddrisu, who confirmed this to graphic.com.gh in Accra, described the move by the industry regulator as “justified as it is in line with the licence regulations and in tandem with the NCA Law.
Three years ago, Glo Mobile Ghana, which has been very instrumental in the support of the country’s premier league and the national team, was granted a licence to operate as the sixth mobile telecommunications company.
Since then, the company has involved itself in a lot of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities across the country and has also rolled out a massive marketing campaign in an attempt to whet the appetite of Ghanaians.
The company has, however, consistently postponed its scheduled date to launch its commercial service, making many lose interest in the brand.
As per the licence granted to the company, the first phase of the implementation of the conditions of the licence should see Glo launch in at least six regions of the country and two years after, add two more regions as part of phase two and go nationwide with its service after a couple of years in the thrid phase.
However, in spite of the conditions as stated, Glo has not started operations.
At the tail end of the 2009, there were accusations to the extent that the government was sabotaging the efforts of Glo to hit the market because of a ban on the siting of masts in residential areas due to huge public outcry.
As a result, measures were put in place to regulate the mounting of such masts, particularly by the telecom companies in the country, to allay the fears of the public.
Sources have hinted graphic.com.gh that the delays in the launch are as a result of the intention of the owner of the company to launch nationwide at a go instead of doing it gradually.
Per its marketing campaign, the company has continuously touted its resolve to go nationwide, having installed state-of-the-art technology and other equipment that will make its service quality and far better than its competitors.
The letter announcing the fine, which was signed by the Director-General of the NCA, Mr Paarock Van Percy, made it emphatically clear that there had several correspondence and meetings with the management of Glo but the assurances by the company had not been fulfilled, hence the fine.
The final prompt asked Glo to launch by April 20, 2012 or face sanctions but this was not adhered to.
Meanwhile, an official of Glo, when contacted on grounds of anonymity, insisted that the company was ready to launch its commercial operations.
“I can state emphatically this time around that we are ready to launch before the close of April,” the official said but again fell short of mentioning the exact date as had been the practice since the licence was granted the company to operate.
Some analysts have indicated that the move could affect investor interest in the country but others are of the view that much as the country is interested in investment, its laws should not be compromised in anyway.