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22.07.2005 Press Review

EDITORIAL: The Telecom Sector - What's happening?

Accra Daily Mail

The NPP Administration places much emphasis on ICT development. Indeed, this forward-looking attitude led to the re-organization of Ghana Telecom (GT) in the very first two years of the administration. Malaysia Telecom had to make way for Telenor from Norway, one of the leading Telecom giants in the world. Undoubtedly, Telenor has brought in much more managerial and technological expertise and we have seen vast improvements, but the overall performance of the telecom sector itself seems to be in some confusion.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the mobile phone sub-sector. It is not satisfactory at all. Apart from the difficulty in connecting, fade-outs, and undesired terminations are the order of the day. It is almost impossible to hold any appreciable length of conversation on certain networks without the calls being terminated. So what is happening?

Is it the fault of the service providers, the regulating agency or the supervising ministry? We are particularly interested in GT's performance because that's the network, which we have a direct stake in - that is Ghanaians. We must make sure that it is ship-shape and no acts of omission or commission by any persons or institutions should be allowed to sabotage it. We all know how GT suffered during the PNDC/NDC era when one private mobile phone company was given juicy frequencies on a silver platter totally to the disadvantage of GT.

We are hearing all sorts of ugly noises that perhaps GT's mobile phone sector is going to be hived away and handed over to a yet to be named private entity. We wish to advice caution. It is a little too early to sacrifice the gold-laying goose.

The telecom sector is the backbone of any modern economy/society. We must pay more attention to ours. But first things first: Those in charge must clear the mess in the mobile phone sector!