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14.09.2004 Press Review

Editorial: So what have the Norwegians brought to GT? (2)

By Gye Nyame Concord

Since we have been given reasons by the de-facto telecommunications monopoly to believe that some folks in GT's management are hard of hearing, or do not fully grasp what they read, we would like to elaborate on the issues we began raising last week.

But before then, the Gye Nyame Concord wishes to acknowledge that GT has quickly rectified the anomaly that prevented pre-paid card customers from making calls over the past couple of weeks.

The rectification of whatever problem existed on their network was done barely 36-hours after the Gye Nyame Concord accused the telecommunications giant of insensitivity towards its clients. We are happy and indeed grateful that they have revived the service which had been done for at least the past three weeks. But need we complain before they do that?

In any case, that does not fully take away our concerns, which still remains on what the Norwegian management team, Telenor, have brought to GT since they were handed the national telecommunications hub two years ago.

For us, it is important that the Norwegian management of GT school us on their achievements and explain to Ghanaians the improved services they have brought to GT, which justifies the $150,000 a month they make.

We say this because most Ghanaians, we believe, would find it difficult in pointing out the improved efficiency they have brought to bear on what their predecessors - the 30% shareholding team of Telekom Malaysia and G-Com - left?

In case they have forgotten, they earn nearly twice what the entire Ghanaian work force, estimated at about 3,900, earn in a month?

Our concern is that for the amount of money they make, people should start feeling the impact of their presence in the efficiency, reliability and delivery of services of GT.

Unfortunately, that is not what we have witnessed even after they have been given what they wanted. For example, GT complained that cross-over dial-ups from other networks were undermining its profit. Consequently, it asked for a raise in its call charges to recover cost. As a result, it proposed to charge 600 cedis for calls on it own networks - GT landline to ONETouch mobile service.

But what did we see? Immediately it got what it asked for from the National Communications Authority (NCA), GT abandoned it pledge. It started charging the C1, 800-plus tax per minute call for mobile phones across board for all networks, including its own ONETouch network.

Meantime, its services have not improved. It is still where it was when they promised that they needed the raise in call-charges to improve their service. Connecting to other networks, are as difficult as connecting from ONETouch to ONETouch for most subscribers.

For Telenor, a company which came in at great risk to ourselves and which resulted in the fight waged by Telekom Malaysia on the international market, one would expect that they would live up to their billing of giving Ghana the improved service they promised.

If they don't know, they should realise that Ghana Airways' new partner, Ghana International Airlines (GIA) has demanded a security of tenure and compensation for abrogation of the partnership deal should we treat them the way we treated the Malaysians, precisely because of how we kicked out the minority shareholders to facilitate the entry of Telenor. So Telenor should not give us reasons to believe that we incurred the displeasure of going through what we went through with the Malaysians for them to come and eat, drink and s… whilst getting $150,000 a month for nothing.

The Norwegians promised that they would turn GT into an international telecom conglomerate. Are we anywhere near that? And do we see any light at the end of the tunnel in terms of their ability to take us where they promised? We don't think so! So when will GT commence and complete the roll-out programme they promised?

Of course we remember some sponsored articles in the press a couple of weeks ago in which they talked of the roll-out programme having been delayed because they could not access a Ghanaian syndicated loan of $60 million and the $150 million credit facility by Alcatel Shanghai Bell of China. The promise then was that we would see signs of the improved GT network by the latter part of the year. Can they please tell us when that latter part of the year would be?

Meantime, till we get to this issue again very soon, the Telenor fat cats must start getting their acts together and start delivering.

SOURCE: Gye Nyame Concord

Since we have been given reasons by the de-facto telecommunications monopoly to believe that some folks in GT's management are hard of hearing, or do not fully grasp what they read, we would like to elaborate on the issues we began raising last week.

But before then, the Gye Nyame Concord wishes to acknowledge that GT has quickly rectified the anomaly that prevented pre-paid card customers from making calls over the past couple of weeks.

The rectification of whatever problem existed on their network was done barely 36-hours after the Gye Nyame Concord accused the telecommunications giant of insensitivity towards its clients. We are happy and indeed grateful that they have revived the service which had been done for at least the past three weeks. But need we complain before they do that?

In any case, that does not fully take away our concerns, which still remains on what the Norwegian management team, Telenor, have brought to GT since they were handed the national telecommunications hub two years ago.

For us, it is important that the Norwegian management of GT school us on their achievements and explain to Ghanaians the improved services they have brought to GT, which justifies the $150,000 a month they make.

We say this because most Ghanaians, we believe, would find it difficult in pointing out the improved efficiency they have brought to bear on what their predecessors - the 30% shareholding team of Telekom Malaysia and G-Com - left?

In case they have forgotten, they earn nearly twice what the entire Ghanaian work force, estimated at about 3,900, earn in a month?

Our concern is that for the amount of money they make, people should start feeling the impact of their presence in the efficiency, reliability and delivery of services of GT.

Unfortunately, that is not what we have witnessed even after they have been given what they wanted. For example, GT complained that cross-over dial-ups from other networks were undermining its profit. Consequently, it asked for a raise in its call charges to recover cost. As a result, it proposed to charge 600 cedis for calls on it own networks - GT landline to ONETouch mobile service.

But what did we see? Immediately it got what it asked for from the National Communications Authority (NCA), GT abandoned it pledge. It started charging the C1, 800-plus tax per minute call for mobile phones across board for all networks, including its own ONETouch network.

Meantime, its services have not improved. It is still where it was when they promised that they needed the raise in call-charges to improve their service. Connecting to other networks, are as difficult as connecting from ONETouch to ONETouch for most subscribers.

For Telenor, a company which came in at great risk to ourselves and which resulted in the fight waged by Telekom Malaysia on the international market, one would expect that they would live up to their billing of giving Ghana the improved service they promised.

If they don't know, they should realise that Ghana Airways' new partner, Ghana International Airlines (GIA) has demanded a security of tenure and compensation for abrogation of the partnership deal should we treat them the way we treated the Malaysians, precisely because of how we kicked out the minority shareholders to facilitate the entry of Telenor. So Telenor should not give us reasons to believe that we incurred the displeasure of going through what we went through with the Malaysians for them to come and eat, drink and s… whilst getting $150,000 a month for nothing.

The Norwegians promised that they would turn GT into an international telecom conglomerate. Are we anywhere near that? And do we see any light at the end of the tunnel in terms of their ability to take us where they promised? We don't think so! So when will GT commence and complete the roll-out programme they promised?

Of course we remember some sponsored articles in the press a couple of weeks ago in which they talked of the roll-out programme having been delayed because they could not access a Ghanaian syndicated loan of $60 million and the $150 million credit facility by Alcatel Shanghai Bell of China. The promise then was that we would see signs of the improved GT network by the latter part of the year. Can they please tell us when that latter part of the year would be?

Meantime, till we get to this issue again very soon, the Telenor fat cats must start getting their acts together and start delivering.

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