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12.11.2005 General News

GT interconnect problem is no one's fault - NCA

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Accra, Nov. 12, GNA - The current interconnectivity problem that the Ghana Telecom (GT) is supposed to have with other competitors is not the making of or the National Communication Authority (NCA).

The Authority said on Saturday that GT was falling into an interconnect-related debts possibly because of lack of appropriate system to collect payments from subscribers and or sells its minutes at rates lower than the agreed charges.

A statement signed by Major (retired) John R. K Tandoh, Director General of the NCA, also mentioned lack of internal fraud detection and management systems to mitigate and or eliminate fraud particularly international call termination as one of the likely reason. "Presently the mutual trust and confidence required to facilitate an amicable resolution between GT and its biggest operator/competitor is at its lowest ebb," the NCA said.

It said the onus of initiating a rate review/setting process was in the domain of the operators as guaranteed by the NCA's regulations, adding that, the Authority only intervened where there were disagreements.

"It is only when the negotiation breaks down that the NCA intervenes to ensure that the public interest and the market order are respectively protected and maintained," the NCA noted.

However, the Authority explained that all operator tariffs had been incorporated in the interconnect charges and that operators as a result of the tariffs had sufficient financial coverage to meet their interconnect charges obligation to one another.

It said interconnect charges are constructed on the basis of service cost delivery and negotiations.

The NCA said following its intervention in July this year, an accord was reached on new rates for interconnect rate but indicated that the effective date of October 15, 2005 had been postponed to January 1, 2006

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