Mr. Robert Palitz, Managing Director of Kasapa, on Thursday told the Ghana News Agency that the implementation of Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was long overdue.
In a written answer to a questionnaire on the readiness of telecom operators for MNP, he said the underlying legal basis for the service had been in place since 2004, and “we believe this momentum is long overdue”.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, during his vetting assured the Parliamentary Appointments Committee of his commitment to MNP.
The National Communications Authority Act, Act 769 2008, empowers the NCA to mandate service providers to implement MNP.
“We have heard the recent comments from the new Minister of Communications and the NCA, and we are encouraged,” Mr Palitz said.
He, however, suggested that for a starter, the Minister should require a concise and meaningful report from NCA with a firm deadline.
He recalled the implementation of the stolen phone blocking regulation, saying that “the amount of time it took to implement stolen phone blocking was shameful and that sort of process should not be tolerated in the case of MNP”.
Mr Palitz, however, noted that implementing MNP required a lot of decisions in the legal, technical and financial areas, saying that while a wide consultation was necessary, it was important for the Ministry and the NCA to keep in mind whose interest they were protecting.
He said the decisions in the public interest needed to be made and implemented quickly, adding that Ghana needed to follow the MNP systems that had succeeded, learn from those which had failed and not waste time reinventing the wheel.
“It is incredibly obvious that an MNP port must be led by the recipient network, which is the network the customer has come to and wants to bring his number to. Donor porting is a way to kill the baby in its crib,” he suggested.
On the question of Kasapa's preparedness for MNP he said the installation of Kasapa's all Internet Protocol (all-IP) network was well underway, as well as that of their back office systems, adding that the addition of various servers and software to handle MNP should not be a problem for Kasapa.
He said Kasapa, like all other network operators, would do what was necessary to ensure they had a net gain of customers who chose to change networks.
“Certainly when Ghanaians are able to break the chains that bind them to networks with which they are not satisfied, the entire country will benefit, including Kasapa,” he said.