Ghanaians woke up earlier this week to some not-so-surprising news. The Government of Ghana — through the Ministry of Communication and the National Communication Authority — intends to enforce the provisions of the Electronic Communications (EC) Act 2008, and the National Communications Policy. This is to create a level playing field within the telecom sector.
MTN Ghana promptly responded to the matter — stating that there hasn’t been any official notification from the government to the company yet.
In short, what has become known as NCA vs MTN Ghana, is intended to break MTN’s dominance in Ghana’s mobile telecommunications sector. And this is not strange in any way. All over the world, regulatory bodies take such measures to dismantle unfair monopolies.
However, does Ghana’s government have a strong case against the company, MTN Ghana? If you’re simply looking at the market share, you will side with the state. But there’s more to this than just the market share.
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NCA vs MTN Ghana: Matters arising
Companies usually targeted with such regulatory moves are ones that buy out competitors to expand market share and establish dominance. Which is why the Ghanaian government may be treading on dangerous ground with this NCA vs MTN Ghana mission as the targeted firm’s profile does not fit the typical description you’d expect.
Now, with this being an industry precedent, should the state agencies proceed with a frivolous argument against MTN Ghana, it sets the tone for Mafia-style ‘dismantling exercises’ in future. Not a good thing when you’re trying to attract significant investment into the country’s economy.
Secondly, this looks like asking a brilliant student to dumb herself down so her under-performing classmates can feel better about themselves; rather than encouraging them to catch up to the high-performance standards set by their mate.
I’m not oblivious to the fact that some services on the MTN network are simply pricey. But the question remains; why do people patronise MTN Ghana’s services when they have the others to turn to? It’s just the quality of service and options available. Would MTN Ghana regain their market share if all the telcos had to start from scratch? Yes! Why? They have always out-thought the competition and been innovative to put themselves ahead.
NCA vs MTN Ghana is in its early stages. We’re all watching to see how this plays out. Hopefully, this wouldn’t send out a message that mediocrity would be pampered in any way.