Vodafone Ghana’s Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Yolanda Cuba, has expressed concern over the introduction and implementation of Interconnect Clearinghouse (ICH) in the country by the National Communication Authority (NCA), arguing that ICH operation would rather overburden consumers.
According to her, telcos would be forced to charge customers extra since they can’t bear all the costs from ICH operation. And this, she said, would bring untold hardship to subscribers.
It could be recalled that during the first quarter of this year, Afriwave Telecom won the bid to operate interconnect clearing house services in Ghana as the most qualified firm to deliver on license following a parliamentary approval of ICH. And as per their mandate Afriwave Telecom will provide a common independent mechanism for monitoring, routing, billing and settlement of local and international interconnect traffic for all existing and future telecommunications operators in the country.
But unfortunately some leading network operators including MTN were not happy about the move explaining that the operations of Interconnect Clearing House (ICH) would create a monopoly with a single point of interconnectivity failure that would increase the potential for network disruption and moreover it would also create an additional bureaucratic layer that would result in an increase in telecommunications cost to the subscriber as well compromise privacy and security.
Adding her voice to concerns raised earlier by other players in the telecommunication industry speaks volume about telcos’ concerns about the ICH. Ms. Cuba addressing at a stakeholder forum in Accra with representation from Civil Society Organizations, Industry players and the Media, could not come to real terms with the fact that the regulator will allow an ICH operator to make capital investment, while the cost be borne by telcos and subsequently transferred to the consumers.
She then urge civil society to take particular interest in developments unfolding in the country’s telecom sector and help address some of it so as to help the sector grow.
The Vodafone CEO then reiterated Vodafone Ghana’s commitment in assisting the Ghanaian economy and seeing it grow hence the investing of over US$1.7billion in Ghana since 2008 and noted that nothing including the upcoming general elections scheduled for the 7th of December, 2016 in the country could deter it from continues investment into Vodafone’s operation.
“We not going to go on investment strike because of an election, Ghanaians need our services and we will not disappoint them,” she said.