Number Portability system to be rolled out (Tuesday July 13, 2010, pg 22)

Ghana will roll out its number portability system, a technology that allows cell phone users to migrate from one network to another without changing their numbers, by June next year, the Minister of Communication, Mr Haruna Iddrisu, has stated.

He said the move would ensure that telecom companies did not compromise on service quality but ensure that subscribers received value for money.
“The system will empower the subscriber to decide which mobile network works best and ensure that operators live up to expectation,” he added.

Mr Iddrisu was speaking at a workshop organised by the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC), with the support of the Ministry of Education, to engage the public on electronic magnetic field exposure and its health related issues.

He said the government would continue to ensure that operators were accountable to consumers so that the latter were not taken for granted.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) announced plans to offer number portability on both land line and mobile networks in the country in 2008. No time scale for the launch was provided at the time.

The one-day workshop brought together representatives of telecommunication companies, civil society organisations (CSOs), scientists, district and municipal assemblies to discuss various scientific findings on electromagnetic field exposure and health.

The Communications Minister directed the NCA to investigate the gambling text allegations levelled against some network operators by the Consumer Protection Agency.

He urged the participants to “come up with recommendations that would strike a delicate balance in ensuring that Ghanaians had access to mobile telephony in particular and at the same time ensure that their health concerns were not jeopardised as operators expanded their infrastructure to show more presence in the communities to deliver quality service.

He also appealed to the telecom companies to use their corporate social responsibility projects to support victims of the recent floods that claimed 35 lives, with property lost running into millions of cedis.

Meanwhile, efforts to get officials of the NCA to comment on its preparedness to meet the challenges of the number portability system proved futile, as they were not available to comment.

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