Ghana’s telecoms market leader, MTN Ghana says it has made significant progress in steps towards the implementation of national roaming, in fulfillment of a regulatory remedy regarding its significant market power (SMP) status.
MTN was named SMP in June 2020 because, as government said, it had controlled more than 75% of the telecoms market in terms of voice, data, SMS and mobile money for a long while.
The company was therefore required to implement seven regulatory conditions as part of measures to, as government put it, correct the market imbalance.
In its full year report for 2021, MTN stated it has so far fully implemented three of the seven conditions and is close to rolling out the fourth one, which is national roaming.
”We have made significant progress in our discussions with the regulator to implement national roaming programme in the country,” the report said.
It added “To this end, we have engaged in bi-lateral discussions with other operators, are advanced in the terms of agreement with at least one operator and have completed technical tests for standard national roaming.”
The report also said more advanced configurations are also underway, adding that MTN is also finalizing the agreement in the coming weeks with GIFEC, in partnership to deliver on government’s rural telephony project.
MTN had earlier opened up its systems and digital channels for the distribution of other operators airtime. It is now therefore possible to buy airtime for person on other networks via MTN mobile money.
Meanwhile, the three SMP remedies which have already been implemented are the application of a 30% asymmetrical interconnect rate reduction for two years, review and approval of all MTN pricing by the NCA (both began October 1, 2020) and implementation of the on-net / off-net, price differential removal on default tariffs affecting data and promotional offers as well.
“We will update the market on the implementation of the three remaining directives as discussions with the NCA progress,” the report said.
Meanwhile, the report also sated that MTN Ghana continues to make progress in fulfilling all agreed localisation requirements for both Scancom PLC and for MobileMoney Limited.
Even though MTN is required to localize 25% of Scancom and 30% of MobileMoney Limited, for ease of implementation and to further deepen localisation, MTN has offered to implement 30% Localisation for both Scancom PLC and MobileMoney Limited.
“Our consultations with the government, the Central Bank and other relevant stakeholders continues positively, and we look forward to providing further updates on our progress in subsequent releases,” the telecom giant said.
Meanwhile, Journalists for Business Advocacy (JBA) has lauded MTN, not only for showing leadership in carrying the rest of the industry along by implementing SMP remedies, but even offering to localize its business at a higher rate than it is legally required.