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Ghana regulator wants to reduce MTN market dominance

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Ghana's National Communications Authority (NCA) plans to implement a set of policies to reduce MTN's dominance in the country's telecoms market.

According to Reuters, the NCA said that in the coming days it will "begin the implementation of specific policies to ensure a level playing field for all network operators within the telecommunications industry."

A statement on the NCA website does not go into much detail but says the authority will exercise its mandate under Section 20 (13) of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, and "hereby declares its intention to classify MTN as a Dominant/Significant Market Power."

As a way to correct this dominance, the regulator will reportedly implement a series of measures including setting floor and ceiling pricing on all airtime, data, SMS and mobile money and introducing a favorable connection rate for disadvantaged operators.

According to statistics from market research company Omdia, MTN's market share in Ghana at the end of 2019 was around 55.5%. In comparison, Vodafone Ghana had around 22% market share, AirtelTigo Ghana had 20% and Glo Mobile's market share was under 2%.

MTN Ghana's latest quarterly update shows that its subscriber base grew 6.2% in the first quarter of 2020 to 23.9 million customers.

MTN Group's executive for corporate affairs, Nompilo Morafo, told Connecting Africa via email that the telco had noted media reports about the NCA decision but had not yet heard directly from the authority.

"We respect 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," she said.

"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," Morafo added.

She said MTN Ghana remains "a responsible market leader in a highly competitive market" and it will remain an ethical business committed to its regulatory obligations.

The Staff, Connecting Africa

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