South Africa-based multinational mobile telecommunications company, MTN said it is committed to resolving its dispute with Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA), following the imposition of $1.8 million fine.
NCA accused MTN, as well as Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo of not providing quality service to customers and fined them altogether $7 million. Ghana’s telecoms authority noted that the companies failed to meet a score threshold on “speech quality measurements” and had to pay up within 30 days.
MTN’s share price, which is down 34 percent since the start of 2018, is lagging behind the FTSE/JSE all share index, which is down 13 percent. The fine is the latest of the difficulties the mobile operator has experienced with regulatory authorities in West Africa.
Recently, Nigerian authorities ordered the telecoms firm to pay an additional $2 billion in taxes and accused it of illegally repatriating $8.13 billion in dividends, ordering it to repay the money. The incident came after a 2015 fine of $5.2 billion, later reduced to $1.7 billion, for not disconnecting unregistered SIM cards on its network in Nigeria.
In Cameroon, the MTN Group was fined $6.6 million and had its 15-year operating licence reduced by a year, by the Telecommunication Regulatory Agency for noncompliance with the regulation on subscriber identification and spectrum.
Regarding the fine in Ghana, MTN said it would engage the necessary stakeholders to reach an “amicable solution”. A statement released by MTN said it was “deeply concerned about this development, considering the continuous network investments and improvements made”.
MTN Ghana said “in the current financial year alone, it has committed GH¢749 million in capital expenditure”.