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Release more spectrum to telcos to improve service quality – Consumer Protection Agency to NCA

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has called on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to release additional spectrum to the telecom companies to help them deliver quality services to their customers.

The Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) has called on the National Communications Authority (NCA) to release additional spectrum to the telecom companies to help them deliver quality services to their customers.

The agency said with the growing number of subscribers in the country, the telcos needed an additional spectrum to accommodate them to provide the kind of services they deserved.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CPA, Mr. Kofi Kapito, who made the call at a press conference in Accra yesterday said with the exit of some telcos from the country, the NCA had additional spectrums to offer, hence the need for the regulator to release it for use.

“The CPA is aware of some telcos and some providers in the industry not being able to use or max up their spectrum assigned to them while other telcos have maxed out their spectrum and need more for them to provide quality service to consumers.

“We are, therefore, asking the sector minister to take a look at how to make it possible for the telcos that need more spectrum to have it,” he said.

Complaints

The call comes at a time when the service quality from the telcos in the country has reached its lowest level with extremely poor quality services in both data and voice.

While the subscribers complain, the telcos have also argued that they need more spectrum to be able to accommodate the large number of subscribers on their network.

Meanwhile, the NCA has been quiet on the matter and has also not publicly released any Quality of Service report with its attendant fines on defaulting telcos as it used to do in the past to keep the telcos on their toes.

Poor services

Mr. Kapito said consumers were going through difficult times with poor services being rendered by the telcos.

“The CPA has received numerous complaints from consumers of the telcos about the various challenges they are facing to the high cost of data, unsolicited promotions and adverts, and poor services,” he added.

He said the NCA used to conduct a very important test known as the quality of service parameters (QOS) to assess speech quality or mean opinion score; call setup time (CST); call congestion rate (CCR), call drop rate (CDR) and stand-alone dedicated control channel (SDCCH) congestion rate.

“Without this important QOS by the NCA, it will be difficult to know which of the telcos is giving bad services to consumers,” he said.

Unsolicited messages

Mr. Kapito also raised issues with the numerous unsolicited messages that disturb consumers on a constant basis every day.

He explained that there has been an instance where a mother lost a daughter because of an unsolicited promo, adding that “the mother did not want to be bothered by these unsolicited messages at night and unfortunately it was her daughter who sent a text message in an emergency.”

Mr Kapito urged the Controller and Accountant General to desist from giving out information of government workers to third parties about pay-day loans and bombarding them with household equipment for sale.

“It is illegal for any entity to give out information about any individual without consent. We are asking the NCA to take action against the betting companies with their unsolicited messages,” Mr. Kapito said.

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