Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Consumer Complaint
Consumers of telecom services - who are not satisfied with services rendered to them by their service providers, have the right to redress by lodging formal complaints.
Below are the procedures for lodging complaints. These procedures have been outlined in the form of frequently asked questions and answers.
 
What is the first thing I should do when I’m not satisfied with the services of my telecom service provider?
You should first contact the service provider whose services or products you are not happy or satisfied with.
Service Providers are mandated to have Complaints Forms which must be available to subscribers.
In a situation where the issue is not satisfactorily resolved by the service provider, you may call the Consumer & Corporate Affairs Division of the NCA to lodge your complaint.
 
What are the procedures involved in lodging a complaint with the NCA?
A dissatisfied consumer can lodge a complaint by:
  1. Completing a Consumer Complaint Form (CCF) which can be obtained from the NCA Website: www.nca.org.gh or from any of the NCA offices listed below. The CCF must be completed and sent to the Consumer & Corporate Affairs Division of the NCA.
  2. Writing a letter to the NCA. This letter can either be handwritten or typed but must be legible, concise, not more than two (2) A4 pages and signed.
  3. Calling the NCA Complaint and Enquiry Unit on (+233)0307-011419 to lodge your complaint.
  4. Walking into any of the NCA offices to lodge your complaints.
  5. You can file complaint through the web site athttp://localhost/40/125/Make-a-Complaint.html
  6. Your complaint can also be sent to us through emailing atcomplaints@nca.org.gh

The filled CCFs and complaint letters must be forwarded to any of the NCA offices listed below:
Head Office:
Communications Tower
No. 6 Airport City
Kotoka International Airport
Accra
Business/Postal Address
P.O. Box CT 1568
Cantonments, Accra

Telephone Number(s)
+233 (0)302-776621
+233 (0) 302-771701
+233 (0) 302-762823

Fax Number
+233 - (0)302 – 763449
Web Address
http://localhost
Email Address
info@nca.org.gh, nca@nca.org.gh

Bolgatanga Office:
H/No ZB 70, Zorbisi Estates
Bolgatanga, Upper East Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3820- 21141
Email: complaints.bolgatanga@nca.org.gh

Ho Office:
H/No A6/29, Stadium Road
P. O. Box HP1576, Ho, Volta Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3620-26339
Email: complaints.ho@nca.org.gh

Koforidua Office:
Residency Road
Behind New Juabeng Municipal Library
Private Mail Bag, Koforidua, Eastern Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3420- 28378/28380/28382
Email: complaints.koforidua@nca.org.gh

Kumasi Office:
Danyame, Kumasi
P. O. Box KS 10768, Kumasi, Ashanti Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3220- 20014/20018/20019
Email: complaints.kumasi@nca.org.gh

Sunyani Office:
Plot No. 83/D Peakwase
P. O. Box SY 125, Sunyani, Brong Ahafo Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3520- 27564
Email: complaints.sunyani@nca.org.gh

Takoradi Office:
Chapel Hill
P. O. Box SL 409, Sekondi, Western Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3120-28073/28049
Fax: +233 (0) 3120 28063
Email: complaints.takoradi@nca.org.gh

Tamale Office:
Watherson Residential Area
P. O. Box TL 1590, Tamale, Northern Region
Tel: +233 (0) 3720- 28102/28104/28105
Email: complaints.tamale@nca.org.gh

What information must be provided in my formal complaint?
You must state your name, address, phone number(s), fax, e-mail, name of Service Provider and the type of complaint. You must give a brief explanation of the circumstance that led to your complaint, stating the time and date you lodged your first complaint with the Service Provider. Copies of any relevant supporting documents such as service agreement, bills, contracts, promotional leaflets etc which would assist in our investigations should be provided.
Short Code Harmonisation (SCH)
1. What are Short Codes?
Short Codes are numbers that are shorter than the regular ten-digit numbers. They are usually between three to six digits.

2. What are Short Codes used for?
They are part of the Special Numbering Resources like Premium Rate Numbers, Toll Free Numbers and Shared Cost Numbers which may be used for voice, data and SMS applications.

3. How will this harmonisation help the consumer?
This is to ensure sanity, so that no matter which network one is on, the short code for checking airtime, recharging, customer service, reaching police and other essential services would be the same. Emergency codes are especially important, as it may be the only thing people remember in a crisis.

4. Can Short Codes be used for Voice, SMS and Data Services?
The use of Short Codes is currently limited to Voice and SMS only except otherwise permitted or specified by the Authority.

5. How does the Short Code Harmonisation (SCH) work?
Any Content Service Provider or any Telecommunication Network Service Provider who wishes to use any Short Code for any Value Added Service will have to contact the NCA for the specific Short Code. Additionally, certain Value Added Services like Credit Recharge, Call Centre etc t using Short codes. will have the same Short Code irrespective of the Mobile Network Operator.

6. Will the Short Codes being used by State Agencies like the Police and Fire Service also be harmonised?
YES, The Authority may assign the use of Short Codes to Government and other State Agencies for the provision of Safety and Public Emergency Services such as Police, Fire, Ambulance, Disaster Responses, Rescue Services, and Mitigation against Disease Outbreaks, Anti-Terrorism, Corruption Activities, Conflict Mitigation, Peace Building, Information Gathering, and Specified Public Helpline etc. Such assigned Short Codes will be common to all Network Operators and the corresponding services will be provided and accessed free of charge by end users (consumers) irrespective of the network you are using.

SIM Card Registration
It is compulsory that all SIM cards (also known locally as ‘chips’) are duly registered in Ghana. Registering your SIM card will provide us with the relevant information to help serve you better, develop the Industry and reduce SIM-related crimes. To be sure if your SIM card is duly registered, send a blank text to short code 400.

1. What is the law that backs SIM card registration?
The enabling law is the Subscriber Identification Module Registration, 2011, L.I. 2006, which provides for registration of existing SIM cards.

2. What is SIM card Registration?
The ACRONYM "SIM" means Subscriber Identity Module. SIM card registration is the process of recording and verifying mobile phone number(s) and personal information of a subscriber, by a communications service provider. Such information includes the subscriber’s photograph, name, and date of birth, gender, address (postal and/or physical address), e-mail address, if available, and details of valid identification documents of the subscriber. The process involves getting both new and existing phone subscribers to consensually provide their identification details to the network operators.

3. Why must we register our numbers?
SIM card registration is intended to:
  • Help law enforcement agencies to identify SIM card owners
  • Track criminals who use phones for illegal activities
  • Curb other negative incidents such as loss of phone through theft, nuisance/hate text messages, fraud, threats and
  • inciting violence
  • Help service providers (network operators) know their customers better
4. What information and documentation do I need to register?
You will need EITHER of the following in original form:
  • Valid Passport
  • Voter’s card
  • Valid Driver’s licence
5. Will my information be kept safe?
All information will be kept confidential by all MNOs in a secure data base. The information collected shall NOT be disclosed to any person unless required by a written law.

6. Which Mobile phone numbers must be registered?
All prepaid and postpaid phone numbers and data SIM cards must be registered.

7. Can I register multiple cards?
Yes. If you own multiple cards, you can register all of them.

8. Where do I go to register?
Registration takes place at your service provider’s outlets countrywide.

9. How much will it cost me to register?
SIM card registration is absolutely free of charge.

10. What will happen if I have not registered by the set deadline?
Your SIM card shall be deactivated and you will not be able to make or receive calls.

11. How will I be sure that my number is registered?
Your service provider will send a text message confirming completion of registration.

12. Can someone register for me?
In case you cannot do the registration, someone else can register the SIM card in his/her name but the person will be responsible for your number.

13. Do I have to register my mobile fixed line too?
Yes, you have to register the mobile fixed line.

14. If I use a modem for my internet. Does it also need to be registered?
Yes. It has to be registered.

Type Approval
Is Your Electronic Equipment Safe?
The NCA has introduced a new regime to help certify and ensure the testing of all communications equipment and devices for compliance with international standards, environmental health and safety standards including electromagnetic radiation and emissions. The new Type Approval Regime was introduced to help ascertain the authenticity of all Electronic Communications devices including mobile devices that enter the Ghanaian market.
The targeted devices include all Mobile Phones, Tablets, Radio Communication Equipment and all other devices that use Radio Frequency in their operation.
Under this regime, all certified devices will have a unique identification number which will confirm the originality or otherwise of the device or equipment.

1. What is Equipment Type Approval?
Equipment Type approval is a demonstration by a manufacturer of an electronic communications equipment that minimum regulatory requirements (Radio, EMC, Health, Safety, and Environment) relating to a communications product has been fulfilled.

2. What is the purpose of Equipment Type Approval?
The main goal of performing equipment type approval is to ensure that:
i. Electronic communications equipment on the Ghanaian market is safe to use and environmentally friendly.
ii. Electronic communications equipment on the Ghanaian market operate as required and do not cause undue interference with other RF emitting devices
iii. EMF exposure from electronic communications equipment is within the required national established limits.
iv. Electronic communications equipment is compatible with the public telecommunications network
v. Network quality of service delivery to customers is ensured.

3. When does NCA issue certificates to manufactures?
The NCA issues a Type Approval certificate to a manufacturer or its Authorised agent based on satisfactory review of RF, EMC, Health and safety requirements that are contained in test reports and other supporting documents demonstrating compliance with the applicable standards.

4. Which Equipment Needs Type Approval?
All electronic communications equipment e.g. mobile phones, tablet, computers, etc.

5. What are the Benefits of Type Approval to the Consumer?
NCA approved equipment types would ensure that electronic communications equipment on the Ghanaian market do not pose danger to your health as a user and also do not harm the environment in which you live. NCA approved equipment types would also guarantee consumers value for money in terms of the type of equipment they buy as the type approval process also seeks to check counterfeit electronic communication equipment.

6. What are the disadvantages of counterfeit electronic communications?
Counterfeit electronic communications equipment normally does not last long and also lack warranty.

7. How to Know Which Equipment Have Been Type Approved
There are two ways to verify if a particular device has been type approved by NCA.
1. Visit the Authority’s website or NCA’s type approval portal for the updated list of type approved equipment.
A search for a type approved product on the portal can be done by using any of the following information:
a. Name of Manufacturer
b. Brand Name
c. Product Type and
d. Model Number

2. Check if the product may have a label as detailed below:

8. What is Type Approval Portal?
This is an online application portal for Type Approval Certification and Dealership Licensing. It is a database of NCA type approved ICT equipment and licensed dealers, to guide consumers to make informed choices. Accessing the portal is free.

9. How do I Access the Portal?
The portal can be access by using this link www.nca.org.gh (verify.nca.org.gh)

10. What Do I do If I Buy a Product That Is Not Type Approved?
Report to the Authority on the following numbers 0302-771701 or through our complaints webpage

11. How does Type Approval Affect Qos?
Type approval of electronic communications equipment is expected to reduce the number substandard products on the Ghanaian market. The use of substandard products has a negative impact on quality of service.

12. Any Advice?
If you are interested in buying any electronic communication equipment, please check on the Type Approval portal or NCA website before you buy. Make sure you buy from the right sources, if you don’t buy from a licensed dealer, then you do at your own risk.
Special Numbering Resources (SNR)
1. What is Special Numbering Resources?
Special Numbering Resources (SNR) is part of the National Electronic Numbering resources which may be non-geographic and non-network dependent. It comprises of Short Codes, Premium Rate Numbers, Toll Free Numbers, and Shared Cost Numbers which are used for carrying voice and data.

2. What is the current practice for the administration of the SNR?
Licenced Telecommunication Operators use these SNRs especially the short codes without seeking approval from the Authority and also assign them either in bulk or single to other VAS Providers (VASP). VAS Providers in turn sell them out to other third parties. This has resulted in unequal access to the resources and less competition with a single code having multiple assignees on different networks as well as lack of protection for the consumers.

3. Who can allocate or assign the Special Numbering Resource?
Section 65 of the Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) mandates the Authority to establish and manage the National Electronic Numbering Plan.
It is therefore the function of the National Communications Authority to administer the entire numbering resources on behalf of the country. No entity being it licensed or unlicensed shall issue, allocate or assign a numbering resource either to itself or a third party.

4. What benefits are associated with NCA allocating and assigning the SNR?
  • To ensure that numbering resources are efficiently and continuously managed. 
  • To also create equal access, transparency, fair competition 
  • To enhance acceptable level of consumer protection.
  • To reduce the complaints of Unsolicited Electronic Communications.
  • To help Consumers and the Authority effectively trace and track the source of all Electronic Communications.
  • To help the general public in accessing the Social Service Institutions like the Police, Fire Service, and Ambulance Service with ease.

5. Who are eligible to apply for the Special Numbering Resources?
  • All licenced telecommunications network operators.
  • Governmental and non-governmental agencies with interest in Special Numbering Resource. 
  • Network Facilities Providers/Aggregators.
  • Applications/Value Added Service Providers.
  • Private Telecommunications Networks. 
  • Entities with interest in acquiring Special Numbering Resource.

6. Can individuals or businesses not listed in the above apply for the Special Numbering Resources?
Yes, Individuals and businesses not listed above may obtain special numbering resources through an authorised Value Added Service Provider or an authorised telecommunication network operator.

7. Do you need to apply for authorisation if you already have Value Added Services license?
Yes, Authorization to own a Special Numbering Resource does not replace Value Added Services Licence. Obtaining a Value Added Services Licence does not automatically provide you the right to Special Numbering Resource.

8. Do you need to apply for authorisation if you already have license to operate a Telecommunications network?
Yes, Authorization to use a Special Numbering Resource is not the same as a licence to operate a telecommunication network.

9. What are the requirements for an entity who wishes to apply for SNRAn entity requesting for SNR must present the following:
  • A completed application form supplied by the Authority.
  • Business Proposal including Technical Proposal where applicable.
  • Directors and Shareholders of the company (where applicable).
  • Terms and conditions of the intended service. 
  • Any recognized valid National ID of the company representative.
  • Valid Contact Details.
  • Must be registered with the Registrar General’s Department before applying to the Authority.

10. Can institutions or individuals apply for SNR?
Even though applications are evaluated on case by case basis, an individual or institution must apply through registered value added service provider or MNO’s

11. Are Special Numbering Resources allocated for emergency purposes accessible by all networks and free to access?
Yes, Special Numbering Resource allocated for emergency services such as Police, Fire Services, ambulances, help lines and those for specific information services offered by government agencies shall be national in nature and common to all operators and also to be accessed free of charge by the public.

12. Can you use the resource for any other service provision either than what it was assigned for?
No, the assigned number should be are utilized in accordance to the agreed numbering plan and for the intended purposes, in order to ensure efficiency. The approval of the SNR is dependent on the intent to request and use of the number.

13. Is Special Resource Number assigning free of charge?
No, the assignee must pay two types of fees which are the application and regulatory fees. The application fee must be paid within eight business hours after the receipt of the application and the regulatory fee should be paid within 24 hours after application has been approved.

14. Can the assignee contact a service provider when numbers are assigned to them?
Yes, the assignee may contact any licenced telecommunication network operator, licenced Value Added Service provider, for their appropriate network needs.

15. Are the assigned numbers transferable?
No, Numbering resources assigned by the Authority are not transferable to another entity without the prior written approval of the Authority.

16. What format will the allocated numbers be dialed?
Communication Network operators shall ensure that the allocated numbers are dialed in the agreed format including the approved Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) protocol formats. Other than the standardized USSD formats by the Authority, Communication Network Operators and VAS Providers may develop SNR with USSD formats. Such formats shall be designed from the assigned special numbering.

17. Which Special Numbering Resources can be used for Voice, Data and SMS? With the exception of the Short Code,all the others being Premium Rate Numbers, Shared Cost Numbers, and Toll free numbers may be used for voice, data and SMS applications.

18. What are NCA’s definitions for Premium Rate Numbers, Shared Cost Numbers, and Toll Free?
Shared Cost Numbers- these are numbers that are used in an intermediate level of telephone call billing, where the charge for calling a particular phone number is partially, but not entirely, paid for by the recipient or the caller.
Short Code – Numbers that are shorter than E.164 format and may not be regionally limited.
Premium Rate Numbers – these are numbers that are used to offer services that generally cost higher than the normal call rate and it is the caller that pays the bills. Part of the bill may be paid to the network provider and also the service provider.
Toll Free Numbers - also known as the Advanced Free Phone numbers (AFN) allows users to call an organization using a single unique toll free number without paying for the call charges.

19. When can the Authority withdraw an assigned resource?
The Authority may withdraw an assigned resource where the usage of such assignments contravenes any of the following:
  • Laws of Ghana.
  • The Act, Regulations, and/or Guidelines.
  • Any specific conditions relating to the assignment.
  • If the whole or part of the assignment is not brought into service within the stipulated time of issue.

20. What is the validity period for the SNR?
An SNR with a lease period of twelve (12) calendar months shall not lie dormant for more than three (3) months from date of issue and within the period of issue. An SNR with lease period of six (6) and nine (9) calendar months shall not lie dormant for more than two months from date of issue and within the period of issue.

21. When can the use of numbers be discontinued?
  • If an entity decides not to use an issued SNR anymore, the entity shall inform the Authority of the short code availability immediately.
  • Special Numbering Resources usage may be discontinued when there is a national and international numbering plan change that may affect the number resource.
  • When there is a national need for a Special Numbering Resources either assigned, in used or available to other assignees there shall be written notification of intent to withdraw the codes of which the Authority would not be required to give specifics involved.

22. What is the period of lease for the SNR?
Apart from short codes, the other SNRs may be allowed up to five year lease period.

23. What happens to an SNR that has expired?
An SNR that is expired must be re-applied. This shall attract the appropriate application and regulatory fees.

24. Can a short code be used for more than one purpose?
No. This is to avoid price ambiguity. SNR is factor for clarification of transactions by clearly defining the requirements and reducing the uncertainties that may have different practical values in a transaction.

25. When should the SLA and revenue sharing template amongst Service Providers be submitted?
The Network Operators and Value Added Providers/Aggregators shall submit copies of Service Level Agreements, revenue sharing and other related agreements to the Authority’s notice ten working days before launch of service.
Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
1. What is mobile number portability?
Mobile Number Portability is a service that allows subscribers to change from one network to the other whilst retaining their entire number on his former network.

2. What necessitated the introduction of Mobile number Portability in Ghana?
The main reason for introducing MNP in Ghana is to boost the competitive landscape in the telecom industry by giving consumers the choice to freely switch networks without having to change their existing number.

3. What is 'porting'?
The process of moving the number to a different network is called “porting”; the original network is the “donor” of the number; the new network is the “recipient”.

4. What are the benefits of porting?
  • You will retain your number when moving from one operator to the other and thus enjoy freedom and convenience.
  • You will receive all your calls and messages regardless of which mobile network you may have ported your number to, without having to inform your friends, relatives, colleagues or clients about your change of mobile operator.
  • You will save money as you do not have to purchase SIM cards for each mobile operator or maintain more than one mobile hand set.
  • You can choose the mobile operator who you feel offers better quality of service and customer experience.
5. Who can port?
Any prepaid or postpaid mobile subscriber can port to the network of any mobile operator.

6. What do I need to consider before making a porting request?
  • Your number with your current mobile operator should be active.
  • You will lose your credit balance in the porting process.
  • You need to back-up all contacts saved on your current mobile operator SIM card.
  • You will lose all services from your current operator including any incoming SMS or MMS that have not been retrieved or delivered.
  • Your porting request shall be declined if fraud has been reported on that number or that number is not active on the donor network.
  • You should use up or retrieve any money in your money transfer account (for example Mobile money, ZAP) or seek a refund from your previous operator after you have successfully ported your number.
  • You should carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of all services provided by your current mobile operator.
7. How do I assess whether I should take advantage of mobile number portability?
MNP is only relevant if you see a benefit in changing mobile service providers. Are you having bad service quality from your current service provider? Are the tariffs of your service provider extremely high compared to other competitors? Then you might consider porting your number to other networks that will give you value for your money. You need to consider if you are on a contract already, and what you might have to pay to your existing provider, if any.

8. Can I switch providers if I am still on contract with my existing provider?
Yes, you can, but you will still have to pay any outstanding bill just as you would if you simply cancelled your service.

9. Can I keep my number and change providers if Iam on a pre-paid service?
Yes, you can, but your handset may be locked. Handsets sold as part of a pre-paid service are often 'network SIM-locked' to prevent customers using a SIM card with the handset other than the one issued for the pre-paid service. If you want to use the same handset, you may need to arrange with your existing provider to have your handset unlocked.

10. Can I Port my Fixed number?
Mobile number portability applies to mobile numbers only

11. Where can I make my request to port?
You should make your request to port your number at a Retail Shop or Appointed Agent of the mobile operator you wish to join.

12. When can I make my request to port?
You can make a porting request from Monday to Sunday whenever Operators’ retail shops and sales agents are receiving customers for normal business.

13. Can I make a porting request on behalf of my organization? Porting requests made on behalf of an organization shall be accompanied by a letter of authority on letterhead of the organization signed by an authorised signatory.

14. Will I lose money held on my money transfer account (for example Mobile money) when I port my number to another network?
No, You should request your old operator to refund your money.

15. What is required to port my number?
  • Visit the retail shop of the mobile operator you intend to switch to with your original identification documents (e.g. National I.D. card, Passport, NHIS ID, Driving Licence or Voter’s I.D. card).
  • Complete the Number Portability Request Form and present your documents for verification.
16. How much does it cost to port my number?
Porting is at no cost.

17. Can I make my porting request online?
No

18. Will I be issued with a new SIM card?
Yes,your new operator will issue you with a new SIM card after signing the Number Porting Request Form.

19. Do I need to register this new SIM card?
Yes, you are required to register your new SIM card in accordance with the NCA Registration requirements.

20. How do I start the porting process?
  • Visit the retail shop/customer care of the mobile operator you intend to switch to
  • Complete the Mobile Number Portability Form and present your ID.
  • You will be issued with a new SIM card
  • Before leaving the shop, you will be assisted to send a free SMS to the number portability system from your current SIM card to start the porting process.
  • You will receive SMS updates on the porting process.
  • Replace your current SIM card with the new SIM Card when notified.
  • Start enjoying the services of your new mobile operator.
21. Can I port from a prepaid to a postpaid number and vice versa?
Yes

22. How long will it take to port to a new Operator?
Porting to your new operator may take a few minutes (but not longer than 24 hours)

23. Can I use the SIM Card of my old network and that of my new network simultaneously when I port my number? No, you will only use the SIM and recharge Cards of the network you have moved your number to.

24. How will I know that my porting request has been successful?
You will receive an SMS notifying you to change your SIM Card.

25. Will I need to send my old SIM to my old operator after my number has been ported?
No

26. How will I know that the person I am calling has ported?
When you call a number that has been ported you will first hear an audible warning tone (beep) before you hear the ring tone.

27. Can I port my number more than once?
Yes, you can make another port request to any other operator only after a period of not less than 30 calendar days. This subsequent port request will be subject to similar requirements as a new port including filling and submitting a Number Portability Request Form.

28. Can I select the date on which my porting request should be activated?
No, Make up your mind and initiate the porting process on any date you wish.

29. Can I cancel my porting request?
No, You cannot cancel your porting request once the automated porting process has started.

30. Can I make calls or SMS during the porting process?
Yes, you are entitled to the services of your current mobile operator until your porting request has been successfully completed.

31. What happens if calls to my number do not go through after a successful port?
You should immediately contact your new mobile operator.

32. What happens if I lose my SIM card after I have ported my number?
You must immediately report the loss of your SIM card to your new mobile operator.

33. What should I do if my old mobile operator contacts me directly or indirectly after I make my porting request or after I have switched to my new mobile operator?
Any attempt to ‘win you back’ to your old or previous mobile operator during the porting process is a contravention of the MNP Regulations and should be immediately reported to the Authority. However it is not an offence for an operator to contact a subscriber after he/she has switched to a different network.

34. Where can I make a complaint?
You should first approach your new mobile operator if you have a complaint on the porting process or any other services. If your complaint is not sufficiently addressed you may submit your complaint to the Authority.

Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
1.What is an MVNO?
An MVNO is a company that provides mobile services such as mobile voice and data services to end-users without owning its own frequency spectrum.

2.Is MVNO the same as Mobile Network Operators(MNO)?
An MNO provides voice, network and data services just as the MVNO, the only difference is that, MNO’s have their own frequency spectrum licence from NCA which the MVNO do not have. Examples of MNOs are Vodafone, MTN, Tigo etc.

3.What are the benefits of MVNO to the mobile market?
  • Greater choice of service providers and services
  • Improvement in service quality
  • Innovation due to competition
  • Cheaper rates due to competition
  • Stimulate private and foreign investment that act as a source of employment and economic growth
4.Can I port my number?
Yes, one can switch from one network to another while maintaining the number.

5.Is prepaid possible?
Yes, MVNOs support both prepaid and postpaid.

6. Does MVNO support roaming?
Yes, the MVNO just need to sign mutual recognition agreement (MRAs) with other operators both national and international roaming

7.Does MVNO supports international direct dialing (IDD) calls on MVNO A.
Yes, you can make IDD calls.

8.Has this been done before?
Yes, both in Africa and outside the continent. Five African countries have implemented this; these are Senegal, Cameroun, Kenya, Madagascar and South Africa.

9.Which MNO has the best coverage?
The “best coverage” depends upon the host MNO. You can start by checking out the coverage maps for each provider before you accept their offers. A list of MVNOs can be viewed on our website, www.nca.org.gh, along with a description of their coverage and links to their coverage map.

10. Which MNO has the best prices?
The “best price” depends upon who you are, where you want to use the phone, what phone you want to use, and how many minutes you’ll use the phone for voice calls, how many text messages you intend to send, how many picture messages you intend to send, how many megabytes of data you intend to use, and the data speed you want.

11. So who handles consumer complaint, MVNO or host MNO?
MVNOs are responsible for consumer complaints.

12. Will MVNO pricing be same as host MNO?
MVNOs design and place in the market their own retail offer, which may freely differ from that of the operator on whose network they are supported, and define their own business strategies.

13. What should I do when I am not satisfied with the services of my MVNO provider?
You should first contact the MVNO whose services or products you are not happy or satisfied with and file your complaint. In a situation where the issue is not satisfactorily resolved by the service provider, you may call the Consumer & Corporate Affairs Division of the NCA to lodge your complaint.

14. Do I have to pay for complaint services?
NO! All services rendered by the MVNOs and Complaints Unit of the NCA are FREE OF CHARGE.

15. Can an aggrieved consumer sue the MVNO in a law court over a breach of contract?
Yes, However, in line with the provision of the Electronic Communications Act 2008 Act 775 84 (1), a dissatisfied consumer should first seek redress with the Service Provider and if unresolved report to the NCA. A court action may be considered a last option.

16. Any advice? The NCA advices all consumers;
  1. Not rely solely on service providers’ information and choice.
  2. Read carefully terms and conditions on contracts, promos and adverts and understanding them before opting in.
  3. Be abreast with service and product information
  4. Compare price, quality standard and features make informed decisions before making or entering into a contract,
  5. Provide proof of purchases or receipts and documents invariably obtained and kept safely.
17.Any legal backing?
The NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY (NCA) is empowered under Section 3(c) of the NCA Act, Act 769 of 2008 (''The Act") to issue Licences for the operation and provision of communication services and to determine the eligibility criteria of applicants for the said licences.

In furtherance of the National Telecommunications Policy 2005 (NTP’05), the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, Act 775, and the National Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L.I.1991, the National Communications Authority (NCA) intends to issue licences to Ghanaian companies to establish and own a Mobile Virtual Network
Quality of Service Monitoring
1. What is Quality of Service (QoS)?
QoS refers to all the requirements a telecom service needs to meet consumers’ implied and stated expectations of a service they are receiving. These include:
  • Network elements
  • User device (phone, modems, laptops, etc)
2. What is QoS monitoring?
It is the process of assessing service providers to ensure they meet required licence conditions.

3. What is the purpose of QoS monitoring?
To ensure compliance of service providers to their Licence obligations on service quality To ensure that consumers receive the required quality of service from their providers. It enables consumers to make informed choices.

4. What is the scope of QoS monitoring?
QoS monitoring covers mobile, fixed and broadband services. Currently, the NCA only monitors mobile network services, which includes Voice, Data and Network coverage from user's perspective in line with licence conditions. The Authority will gradually improve its capacity to monitor other services.

5. What are the QoS parameters for Mobile Network services?
Below are the various QoS parameters and definitions: Table 1 – Definition of QoS Parameters Mobile Voice QoS KPI Parameter Definition SDCCH Congestion Rate (SCR) It is the frequency of a consumer’s inability to access the resource that carries the information needed to set up a call. TCH Congestion Rate (TCR) It is the ease or difficulty with which a consumer is able to get a call through their service provider’s network system. The measurement of the frequency of Call Congestion is termed as Call/TCH Congestion Rate. Call Setup Time (CST) Call Setup Time is the length of time it takes from initiating a call to the time the call is established. Call Drop Rate (CDR) It is the frequency with which a consumer’s on-going call is cut off or disconnected without their permission or knowledge. The measurement of the frequency of call drops is termed as Call Drop Rate. Call Completion Rate (CCR) It is defined as the probability that a call, after being successfully set up, has been maintained during a period of time and ended normally. Mobile DATA QoS KPI Parameter Definition Data Access Success Rate (DASR) The probability to successfully access a public data server. Data Drop Rate (DDR) The probability to drop or release a data session without consumer or user’s intervention. Data Throughput (DT) The speed at which data is downloaded.

6. What is the legal backing for QoS monitoring?
  • The National Communications Authority (NCA) Act 769, Act 2008 Section 3(m) mandates the Authority to establish quality of service indicators and reporting requirements for Operators and Service Providers for the object for which it was established (regulate provision of communications service in the country).
  • Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775), Section 6 subsection (2) The Authority shall specify (a) quality of service indicators for classes of public telecommunications service, and (b) the means to enforce a licensee's compliance with its stated quality of service standards, including measures by which a licensee shall compensate users adversely affected by a failure to provide electronic communications service in accordance with the standards.
  • Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775), Section 6 subsection (1) A network operator or service provider shall (f) satisfy standards of quality in accordance with its licence and the Regulations
7. When does NCA conduct this monitoring exercise?
On daily basis; when using live traffic measurements and quarterly, when using the automated benchmarking tools in line with their licence conditions.

Questions Regarding the Quality of Service Monitoring for Quarter 1, 2018
8.Which Services were monitored in Q1?
The NCA monitored Voice and Data services in the first quarter of 2018. In addition to this, MNOs were monitored to determine if they meet their coverage obligations.

9. Which parameters for Voice and Data were tested in Q1?
The table below shows the parameters which were tested in the first quarter of 2018. Table 2 - Voice, Data and Coverage parameters Tested in Q1 Mobile VOICE QoS Parameters Mobile DATA QoS Parameters Mobile COVERAGE Parameters SDCCH Congestion Rate (SCR) Data Access Success Rate Received Signal Code Power (RSCP) TCH Congestion Rate (TCR) Data Drop Rate Received Signal Level (Rxlev) Call Setup Time (CST) Data Throughput Call Drop Rate (CDR) Call Completion Rate (CCR) Voice Quality (Mean Opinion Score)

10. Which areas were covered during the monitoring exercise
All district capitals in the Greater Accra, Western, Eastern and Northern regions and two districts in the Ashanti Region namely Kumasi and Asokore.

11. Why wasn’t the whole of the Ashanti Region covered during the monitoring exercise?
The whole of the Ashanti Region was covered during the exercise for all the parameters listed above.
The results of all these can be found on the NCA’s website with the exception of the Voice Quality monitoring where the results for all but two (2) of the districts are presently unavailable. The full Voice Quality monitoring results for the Ashanti Region will be published in due course.

12. When is NCA going to monitor the other regions?
The other regions will be monitored during the months of May and June 2018.

13. How was the QoS monitoring done in Q1?
This was done by collecting measurement data on the field for the various mobile services using an automated benchmarking tool (called NEMO) with terminal equipment which simulates a typical user behaviour.

14. How is Voice Quality measured?
One of the parameters tested to ensure compliance is the Voice Quality which is measured by the Mean Opinion Score (MOS). MOS is a quality measure that has been used as a way to assess the human user’s opinion of call quality, testing quality voice transmission, quality issues and measuring voice degradation and performance. MOS, Mean Opinion Score is measure for voice quality assessment from a user’s perspective.

15. How is MOS assigned? The standard for measuring MOS is an ITU accepted standard which is also stated in the Cellular Mobile Licence. MNOs are required by the Licence to meet a minimum score of 3.5.
MOS is expressed as a single number in the range from 1 to 5, where the value of 1 corresponds to the lowest quality experienced by the end-user and 5 is the highest quality experienced.

16. What is the Standard for measuring MOS?
The standard for measuring MOS is an ITU accepted standard (ITU-T P.863) which the NCA adopted.

17. Can you help me understand the overall ratings?
The overall rating is simply based on the overall score. The overall score is calculated as the average of all MOS measured for the calls made within a District Capital during the field monitoring exercise. The scores are then mapped to a rating based on the below: MOS Range Range Interpretation [4.1 to 5] Excellent Perfect. Like face-to-face conversation. [3.5 to 4.1] Good Sound is clear but with some imperfections [2.5 to 3.5] Fair Nearly impossible to communicate. User has to make extra effort to communicate [1 to 2.5] Poor Impossible to communicate

18. How do I access the ratings for my district?
Visit the NCA website or click on the link below to access ratings for your district.
www.mos.nca.org.gh or www.nca.org.gh

19. The scores for my district indicated that quality of speech is good, but my experience is bad, why?
The experience of bad speech quality in a district which is scored as good could be attributed to many other reasons including the expectations of the user and possibly the standard of the device used by the user.

20. Has the NCA discussed these findings with the Mobile Network Operators (MNO)?
The results of the QoS Monitoring were shared with all the MNOs. The Authority engaged them to determine reasons for their performance in areas where they were unable to meet their KPIs and MNOs were given the opportunity to explain the reasons or why they were unable to meet the required KPIs.

21. What reasons did the Mobile Network Operators give for the results of the various findings?
  • Airtel and Tigo – The recently merged network informed the NCA that multiple fibre cuts were the main challenges which disrupted service and sometimes hindered them from meeting the stated KPIs.
  • Glo - Glo indicated that they require new sites to improve coverage especially in new developing areas and will work to address this. They also submitted that some coverage issues were due to site outage and will focus on improving site availability
  • .
  • MTN – The network operator indicated that their three (3) main challenges had to do with Site Acquisition, Fibre Cuts and Permitting challenges. In a few instances, they reported neighbourhood agitation with regards to the sites under constructions.
  • Vodafone – They will work closely with the Authority to rectify gaps identified.
22. Will the NCA monitor the same areas again?
After a three month period, the NCA would again conduct another QoS monitoring in these same regions to determine if the situation has been resolved or improved. MNOs who would not have resolved or improved their performance would be sanctioned by the Authority.

23. What will the next phase of the monitoring entail?
Phase 2 of the QoS Plan would entail the other five (5) regions, Central, Brong-Ahafo, Volta, Upper East and Upper West, being monitored. This will cover 96 district capitals and is likely to be finished by July, 2018.

24. Can I contact the NCA to monitor my area/house for me?
No. the NCA will come to your district if it has not in Q1. Any complaints from mobile users should first be channelled to the service provider.

25. What is network coverage?
The geographical area covered by the network of a service provider.

26. Why do you measure network coverage?
To ensure that MNOs meet their coverage obligations specified in their licence conditions. To ensure that have access to telecom services across the country via all the district capitals.

27. What is the NCA doing to address coverage issues such as black spots?
NCA has authorised Mobile Network Operators to deploy Universal Mobile Telecommunication System, UMTS, in the 2G band which is ensuring that unserved and under-served areas of the country gain the needed access to data.

28. How will NCA ensure compliance with targets set for MNOs?
Stakeholder engagement with MNOs to share findings, stating problematic areas and giving time to remedy. Subsequent to this, sanctions will be meted out to defaulters if problems persist.

29. Who do I contact for further clarification?
You can contact us through the following channels to complain
Send an email – complaints@nca.org.gh
Call our Hotline – 0307-011-419
Call our Toll Free – 0800- 110-622
Fill a form on our Complaints Management System – NCA Complaints
Walk-ins – 8 Regional Offices (Accra, Kumasi, Koforidua, Takoradi, Ho, Suyani, Tamale, Bolgatanga
Letter – NCA. P. O. Box CT 1568, Accra
Facebook – National Communications Authority Ghana
LinkedIn – National Communications Authority
Twitter – @NCAGhana
Unsolicited Electronic Communications (UEC)
1. What is Unsolicited Electronic Communication?
Unsolicited Electronic Messages or unwanted Text Messages and Calls simply refer to electronic messages that a recipient has not consented to receiving.

2. Who Sends these Unsolicited Electronic Communications?
  • Network Messages (Also called Transactional messages): These are messages sent by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to give information on their products and services to their customers.
  • Promotional Messages: These are promotional, advertising and marketing messages that can be sent to consumers from MNOs or from Third Party Providers, which the consumer may or may have not subscribed to . Third Party Providers are also known as Value Added Services providers who initiate electronic communications for marketing of services, investment and goods to the public through telecommunication services.
  • Spam (Web to Text) Messages: lead generation companies that are trying to find people who will respond so they can market their products and services for profit are sending Messages.
3. Where did they get my details? In most cases, we believe not all companies sending the messages hold information about you. Some of these companies sending the texts and calls randomly generate mobile telephone numbers and send several hundreds, or thousands of texts in the hope that a proportion of subscribers may be reached.

4. Is it legal for my service provider to keep sending me messages?
Your Service Provider has the right to inform you about products and services related to their network, these are what we term Transactional Messages. However, there should be an option for you to unsubscribe from receiving promotional Text Messages and Calls from any Provider.

5. How can I stop receiving UECs?
You can send “STOP” to the same Short Code number from which the message was sent from to stop receiving promotional messages on your phone.If you are still receiving Unwanted Messages or Calls after a few days of unsubscribing, report to your service provider to omit you from the promotional mailing list. If you are still not satisfied with the results after a few days, you may contact the National Communications Authority by following the procedure for filing a complaint.

6. What are my rights as a consumer and what can I do?
As a consumer, the rights you have with regard to Unsolicited Electronic Communications are:
  • You can send “STOP” to the same Short Code from which the message was sent to stop receiving promotional messages on your phone
  • Opt-outs and /unsubscriptions is at no cost to you
  • You should receive promotional messages on your phone from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. only
  • Promotional messages should not be sent to you on Sundays
  • Report SPAM messages and calls to your Service Provider
  • Protect your number and be careful who you give your number to
  • If you receive marketing by text messages/calls you should write to or call your Network Operator concerned (remember to keep a record of all correspondence).
  • If you are unsure where the message or call comes from you should not respond as this may confirm your number is live. Always be wary of such calls and messages, especially if you are asked to send money or provide your bank and or personal details.
  • If you continue to receive unwanted marketing by text messages or calls, you can report to your Network Operator. By law, any company looking to offer this kind of service must identify themselves when they contact you. The companies sending these messages without your consent are therefore breaking the law and we would therefore advise that you do not reply to these messages. Simply report to your Service Provider.
7. Is it lawful for anyone to send me Unsolicited Electronic Communication at any time?
If you have subscribed for a service then the provider has the right to send you messages at stipulated times. In addition, your Service Provider has the right to inform you of products and services related to their network. However, these transactional messages should be sent to you from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. only and on all days excluding Sundays.

8. The Unsolicited Electronic Communication I receive does not have an option for me to unsubscribe, what should I do?
Report this to your Service Provider and if this does not work, you can report to the National Communications Authority.

9. I have been charged for opting out of receiving an Unsolicited Electronic Communication, what should I do?
Opt-outs and/unsubscriptions should not be at a cost to you. If this happens, please report it.

10. Sometimes I need to provide my telephone number when I am applying for a social service or for an entertainment service, how can I be sure that my number will not be used for spamming.
Read the small print provided and if in doubt, ask the people requesting for your telephone number if they intend sending messages.

11. In a day, I receive a number of Unsolicited Electronic Communication, which I have not subscribed for. How do I opt out of this?
Simply send “STOP” to the same Short Code number from which the message was sent to stop receiving promotional messages on your phone and remember, Opt-outs and /unsubscriptions are at no cost to you.

12. My service provider says I subscribed for a service and I do not remember doing so. Is that fair?
You may have unknowingly subscribed for a service. If you do not remember doing so, all you have to do is send “STOP” to the same Short Code number to stop receiving these messages. If it does not work then follow the procedure for filing a complaint.

13. What does the law say?
The Electronic Communications Regulations 2011 covers the way service providers send direct marketing messages by electronic means, which include text messages (SMS) and Calls. Service Providers cannot send you marketing text messages and Calls you didn’t agree to receive, unless:
  • You have subscribed to receive these messages
  • You may receive introductory messages about a promotion, however, to reduce the risk of you being bombarded with messages:
    • Each Promotional and Non-Transactional Electronic Communication should not be sent more than once a day as a means to reduce the incident of subscribers receiving the same message twice a day. This is in relation to only electronic communications i.e. voice or SMS regarding non-network service related communications (messages inviting subscribers to join or participate in a promotion or introducing a non-network service related facility).
    • In relation to the above recommendation, any Electronic Communication introducing a product or service can be sent only three (3) times in a month, to avoid sending the same content many times and causing nuisance.

14. What can I do to avoid unwanted (spam) texts and calls?
  • Be careful who you give your telephone number to.
  • Don’t advertise your telephone number, for example by putting it on the internet.
  • Check privacy policies and marketing opt outs carefully.


15. How can I stop receiving messages and calls from these organisations?
You can report them to your network operator, who may be able to prevent further spam from the originating number. Unfortunately as the numbers often change, your network provider cannot guarantee to stop all unsolicited messages. Remember to provide enough information on your complaint to your network Operator which might include:
  • The date and time of message or call
  • The telephone number that made the call
  • Description or the nature of message or call

If you continue to receive these spam texts and calls after reporting to your network operator or unsatisfied of the outcome of your complaint you can report to the NCA.
Amateur Radio Operations
1. What is an Amateur Radio Service?
Regulation 45 of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L.I.1991 defines the amateur radio service as a type of radio communication service used for interconnection, leisure-time activity, testing and research.

2. How can I become an Amateur Radio Operator?
To become an Amateur Radio Operator, you need to first obtain an Amateur Radio licence. This requires that the applicant applies for the licence. As part of the application process, the applicant would be made to sit for an examination.

3. Who can apply for this Licence?
Anyone who is fourteen (14 years) and above can apply for the Amateur Radio licence and sit for the Beginner’s Amateur Radio Licence examination. The Beginner’s Amateur Radio licence is considered as the entry level for Amateur Radio Service in Ghana. This examination can be likened to the traditional Driver’s Licence acquisition procedure.

4. Can an adult/guardian apply on behalf of a minor (below 14years)? If no, how does such a person get involved?
No, such a person can join an authorised Amateur Radio Club for the time being and can take the examination when he/she gets to the required age.

5. What are some of the equipment used in operating the Amateur Radio?
A complete Amateur radio station comprises a transceiver, antenna, power supply unit, coaxial cable, Amplifier, headphone/microphone headset and related devices.

6. What is the purpose of this service?
Amateur Radio operations is intended for non-commercial purposes such as self-training in radio communications, experimentation, disaster communication, technical investigations and leisure time activities.

7. How does amateur radio operations contribute to disaster communication?
When regular communication channels fail, amateur radio operations can swing into action assisting emergency communications efforts and working with public service agencies.

8. Is this licensing procedure backed by law?
Yes! Regulations 45-47 of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L.I. 1991 provides the legal backing for Amateur Radio Licensing in Ghana.

9. Do all Radio Amateurs have the same qualification?
No, there are three licence categories namely Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced.

10. What do I need to read to prepare for the examination?
The National Communications Authority has published a syllabus for the beginner’s level at AMATEUR-BEGINNERS-SYLLABUS.pdf

11. What is the relevance of the examination?
The syllabus and the related examination would help a prospective licensee to gain the knowledge, skill and experience required to safely install and operate an Amateur Radio Station.

12. How can one apply to register for the examination? or How can one apply for registration of the examination?
To apply, visit our website, APPLICATION-FOR-AMATEUR-RADIO-OPERATOR-LICENCE-AP14.pdf to download an application form at no cost.

13. How much does it cost to acquire an Amateur Radio Licence?
A licensee is required to pay a onetime fee of GH₵96.25.

14. Is the onetime fee refundable if one does not pass the exam?
No, but an applicant has the opportunity to re-sit the examination at a cost of GH₵50.00.

15. Will classes be held for people who need more interaction?
No, however applicants are encouraged to join clubs for assistance.

16. How can I join the club and where do they meet?
The NCA has started advocating for the establishment of clubs in Senior High Schools because the old Amateur Radio Clubs are defunct. The NCA shall publish the list of authorised clubs in due course.

17. What is the duration for the licence?
The Licence is valid for a period of ten (10) years.

18. Are there examination centres for this examination?
Yes, the examination will take place at the NCA’s premises across the country. Candidates will be informed of the dates and times appropriately after they have applied to the NCA.

19. How often is the examination conducted in a year?
The examination will be written once every month. As a result when applying, you would have to indicate your preferred month.

20. How is the examination? Is it written or practical?
The exams for the beginner’s Amateur radio is a written examination (Multiple Choice Questions).

21. Is there an examining Body for this exams? If yes, how credible is the board?
Yes, the NCA will administer the process as stated in Regulation 47 of the Electronic Communications Regulations, 2011, L.I.1991.

22. How can I utilize my licence if I do not have an operating station?
Some Amateur radio clubs have set up stations hence you can arrange to operate their equipment.

23. Has this service been in existence for long? If yes, how many licences have been issued so far?
Yes, since its inception, 177 licences have been issued. However, majority are not active because most of the licensees are foreigners. The then National Frequency Allocation Board issued some Amateur Radio Licences in the 70s.

24. If I have a related certificate can I be granted a licence without having to sit for the beginner’s exam?
Yes, the regulations permit the Authority to issue licences to people who possess the requisite qualifications prescribed for the purpose of Amateur Radio.

25. Can I operate an Amateur radio with my Licence in another country??
You are required to apply for the Licence in every country before you will be permitted to operate the Service. The examination may be waived depending on the reciprocal agreement between Ghana and that country.

26. What is the difference between Amateur Radio and Campus Radio?
Amateur Radio is not for FM Broadcasting and Campus Radio is an FM radio broadcasting station for educational institutions.

27. What are the Amateur Radio Frequency Bands?
The amateur bands include 1.81Hz -1.85MHz, 3.5MHz -3.8MHz, 28MHz-29.7MHz and 144MHz-146MHz. Refer to topic 1.3 in the Amateur Beginner’s Syllabus for the various frequency allocations of other services.

28. Does Amateur Radio Equipment brought into the country need to be approved and certified before using?
Yes, you need the Authority’s permission before you bring in any communications equipment to Ghana.