Telecommunications Analyst, Professor Patrick A. Boateng has indicated that the decision of the government and its regulatory body, the National Communications Authority (NCA) to break MTN’s dominance in the industry was done to ensure healthy competitiveness in the free market sector.
According to him, the NCA’s action is to prevent a possible monopoly that could stop customers from possessing the ability to choose any industry player they want to aside from MTN. “This is good for the economy and customers as well,” he stated
Speaking in an interview with Happy 98.9 FM’s Samuel Eshun on the Happy Morning Show, the telecommunication expert indicated that the NCA’s decision is guided by the National Communication Policy and the Electronic Communication Act. He noted that these were the NCA’s guide to classifying MTN as an SMP.
Section 4.3 of the National Telecommunications Policy, 2005, states that “in the absence of an NCA determination of different standards in a specific case, SMP will be determined to exist for an organisation providing telecommunications services that control at least 40% of a relevant market segment.”
Professor Boateng motioned that NCA used its authority to prevent the telecommunications giant from becoming a possible monopoly in the near future. “The regulator being the NCA is looking to prevent the situation where MTN may become a dominant player in the market hence the move to deal with that.”
With MTN having already exceeded the 40percent threshold as outlined by the National Telecommunication Policy, Professor Boateng believes they will not only benefit economically but MTN can stifle growth in the sector. “It is possible for them to make decisions without competitors having the ability to counter them.”
“From a regulators standpoint, it would always be unwise for the regulator to act quickly without being thoughtful and watchful having considered all the factors. As a regulator, it is wise to wait and watch the market, and exercise some degree of forbearance, in order not to regret your action. The NCA has watched the market for a while now and arrived at this decision. My belief is the NCA looked at the individual markets and did not just look at their subscribers before declaring MTN an SMP.”
The National Communications Authority (NCA), has declared Scancom Ghana Ltd. (MTN) as a Significant Market Power (SMP).
This is in line with the mandate of the Authority under Section 4.3 of the National Telecommunications Policy, 2005, which states that in the absence of an NCA determination of different standard in a specific case, SMP will be determined to exist for an organisation providing telecommunications services that control at least 40% of a relevant market segment.
The latest statistics received from the industry as at Friday, 5th June 2020, shows a worrying trend amongst Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) which demands immediate action to correct the growing market imbalance and creation of a near-monopoly in the telecoms sector. This imbalance exposes the country to the dictates of the dominant operator, militates against effective competition and impacts negatively upon investment in the sector.
The statistics for Quarter 1, 2020 and shown below, paints a clear picture:
Average Voice Subscriber Market Share for MNOs
• MTN 57.07%
• Vodafone 20.94%
• Airtel-Tigo 20.25%
• Glo 1.74%
Average Data Subscriber Market Share for MNOs
• MTN 67.78%,
• Vodafone 15.49
• Airtel-Tigo 15.81%
• Glo 0.92%
By: Joel Sanco
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