New legislation for Ghana's telecoms industry

New legislation for Ghana's telecoms industry

Quality of service and inclusion of new technology central to revised regulation.

From Ghana, the recently drafted National Communications Authority (Quality of Service) Regulations 2019 is expected to be adopted and signed into law before the end of 2020 – representing a new set of regulations for telecommunications operators.

The revised regulations, introduced by Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA) after consultation with industry stakeholders in Accra, Kumasi and Tamale, are aimed at filling gaps that have emerged over time within KPIs for mobile network operators.

If approved by lawmakers and signed into law by the president, network availability will be regulated based on the signal strength of a telecommunication network.

The acceptable standard for calls will be 95 decibels relative to a milliwatt (dBm) for indoor, 85dBm in vehicles and 75dBm for outdoors.

The intended legislation will also establish benchmarks for call service accessibility and the NCA advocates that carriers should ensure network coverage of at least 95% at all times.

The regulator also proposed that acceptable call loss rate should be revised from the current 3% to less than 1%.

Henry Kanor, NCA's executive vice president technical operations said, "When the current regulations were developed, we did not have WhatsApp, mobile money services, or other mobile apps. As a result, it is silent on these technological advances. We revise it to reflect this so that service providers know what is expected of them and that consumers also know what to expect."

The NCA said the draft law will be forwarded to Cabinet and then to Parliament for consideration and adoption.