According to data from the National Communications Authority (NCA) from Quarter 4, 2019, MTN has almost 75% of telecommunications market share. With this latest information, the NCA has stated that it will begin the implementation of specific policies to ensure a level-playing field for all network operators within the telecommunications industry.
The NCA was directed by the Ministry of Communications to enforce provisions of the Electronic Communications (EC) Act 2008 and the National Telecommunications Policy to address glaring disparities in market share and revenue share in the sector.
Enforcement of the policy is aimed at ensuring proper and healthy competition among telecommunications players, secure a much better pricing policy for the consumers and facilitate a sound regulatory regime.
MTN Branded As A “Monopoly”?
Under the National Telecommunications Policy (NTP), an operator in Ghana with 40% or more market share in voice, data, SMS, and value-added services like Mobile Money, is considered a Significant Market Power (SMP).
The NCA has therefore declared MTN as a Significant Market Power (SMP) in the marketplace.
Because of this designation, the NCA is required to take corrective measures under the law to facilitate more market competition, ensure proper pricing for consumers, and facilitate the overall growth of the telecommunications industry.
The Ministry of Communications stated that MTN’s growing dominance has impacted negatively on competition and consumer choice, necessitating corrective action.
The Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, stated that “While the telecommunications policy aims to encourage the growth of the telecommunications sector, it also seeks to create a level playing field and ensure a regulatory regime that ultimately benefits the consumer”.
Measures NCA Will Apply To
To correct the “imbalance”, the NCA will apply the following measures:
- Asymmetrical Interconnect rate in favour of the disadvantaged operators.
- The setting of floor/ceiling pricing on all minutes, data, SMS, Mobile Money, etc.
- Review and approve all pricing by the SMP as required by law.
- Require SMP not to have differential prices for on-net and off-net transactions.
- Ensure various operator vendors are not subject to exclusionary pricing or behavior.
- Ensure that SMP’s access to information does not disadvantage any value-added service of non-SMP operators.
- Require operators to present implementation plans on National Roaming Services within the next 30 days for execution on or before the next 90 days.
- These measures kick in immediately and the NCA is expected to work with all Network Operators who must cooperate to ensure it is done painlessly.
In response to the NCA and the Ministry of Communications, MTN released a statement and stated it would “refrain from making any public statements or comments on this matter” whilst it waits for the formal notification from the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) to assess 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 stated.