We’re Yet To Receive An Official Notice From Gov’t About Claims Of Monopoly – MTN Ghana
MTN Ghana has reacted to hearsays about government’s probe into its monopolistic market share saying it is yet to receive a formal notice from the government.
The telecommunication network made this known in a statement as a response to a press release on the development issued by the Ministry of Communications.
On Sunday, the government announced its directive to the National Communications Authority (NCA) to assess in detail the discrepancies caused in market and revenue share in the telecommunications sector as MTN Ghana has majority of Ghanaians as subscribers.
The Ministry of Communications urged the NCA to implement provisions of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) and the National Telecommunications Policy (NTP).
According to MTN, it "will refrain from making any public statements or comments on this matter" while it waits for the formal notification from the regulator, the NCA to better understand the details.
"We would like to reassure our cherished shareholders and customers that our commitment to the delivery of a bold new digital world in Ghana remains intact and they can count on our continued investment in infrastructure and innovative products and services," MTN said.
MTN indicated that it is a “responsible market leader” abiding by ethical codes to ensuring that its customers are well served.
It stated, “MTN Ghana is focused on providing the enabling technology to support Ghana’s digital economy and drive productivity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. MTN Ghana is a responsible market leader in a highly competitive market. We remain an ethical business committed to its regulatory obligations while striving to deliver on its belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.”
Per the directive, the NCA is expected to as soon as possible, implement specific policies to guarantee an equal field for all network operators within the industry, with importance on maximizing consumer welfare.
The Ministry of Communications explained that this directive comes on the back of some reports gathered from the industry which indicated a perturbing inclination to MTN which, the Ministry believes needs abrupt actions to check the growing market imbalance and the creation of a near-monopoly in the industry
MTN currently enjoys almost 75 percent of the telecommunications market share.
Under the National Telecommunications Policy (NTP) any operator with 40 percent or more market share in voice, data, short messaging service (SMS), and value-added services such as mobile money is considered a significant market power (SMP).
Hence, MTN has been declared as an SMP. The NCA is expected to take counteractive measures under the law to enable more market rivalry, ensure proper pricing for consumers and facilitate the overall growth of the telecommunications industry.
What NCA will do
The Ministry of Communications in its statement issued on Sunday indicated that for this imbalance to be corrected, the NCA would have to apply measures in accordance with its regulatory mandate, including asymmetrical interconnect rate in favour of the disadvantaged operators, setting of floor/ceiling pricing on all minutes, data, SMS and mobile money, review and approve all pricing by the SMP, as required by law, and require SMP not to have differential prices for on-net and off-net transactions.
It would also ensure various operator vendors were not subject to exclusionary pricing or behaviour, ensure that SMP’s access to information did not disadvantage any value added service of non-SMP operators and require operators to present implementation plans on national roaming services within the next 30 days for execution on or before the next 90 days, the statement said.
It empahsised that the measures were to start as soon as possible and it is required of the NCA to work with all network operators which must cooperate to ensure it was done painlessly.
“We have come a long way in a very dynamic industry which has seen ancestors of all the current operators being the dominant player at one stage. Ghana Telecom, Mobitel, now MTN. Measures taken then to open up the market to ensure fairer competition, though unpleasant to the dominant player then, eventually inured to the benefit of the consumer and resulted in the vibrant telecom sector of today. This will also have the same result over time. It is corrective and not punitive,” the Minister’s statement added.
Below is a copy of the MTN statement
SCANCOM PLC. (MTN GHANA) RESPONSE TO GOVERNMENT’S NOTICE ON IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW POLICIES IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS MARKET
Scancom Plc. (MTN Ghana) has noted media reports concerning a decision by the National Communications Authority (NCA) to implement specific policies to ensure a level-playing field for all network operators within the telecommunications industry.
MTN Ghana respects the NCA’s purview to regulate the telecommunication sector in Ghana based on legislation and best practices.
However, MTN Ghana has not yet received the formal notification from the regulator and awaits this to assess the details.
Until then, MTN Ghana will refrain from making any public statements or comments on this matter.
We would like to reassure our cherished shareholders and customers that our commitment to the delivery of a bold new digital world in Ghana remains intact and they can count on our continued investment in infrastructure and innovative products and services.
MTN Ghana is focused on providing the enabling technology to support Ghana’s digital economy and drive productivity, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
MTN Ghana is a responsible market leader in a highly competitive market.
We remain an ethical business committed to its regulatory obligations while striving to deliver on its belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.