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Business News of Sunday, 17 June 2018

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

Gov’t, mobile network operators cooperate to implement common monitoring platform

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister of Communications, says government is working with Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to implement the new Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) for industry players.

In a recent statement, Ms Owusu-Ekuful said: “Government is fully committed to the implementation of the CMP in compliance with our law and has made it clear to all mobile network operators.”

“I am happy to announce that they are all cooperating with the NCA, Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and their contractors to implement the CMP,” she noted.

According to her, government’s revenue would also be assured while the privacy of all citizens would be protected.

Room for further dialogue

In the meantime, she said the NCA and GRA would continue to meet with technical teams of all MNOs to address any issues which might arise in the implementation of the project, adding that physical installation servers had been completed at various data centers of MNOs, as preparations toward testing and transmission were at various stages of completion.

“Changes have been made to the original technical specifications to provide a further layer of protection and security to address the privacy concerns of the MNOs.

“A filtering server and mirroring installation have been included to ensure that only the signaling information needed for the purposes of traffic monitoring will be received by the NCA and GRA. No other information either voice, SMS, video or data will be received by KelniGVG servers.”



Appearance before Parliament

The Minister, it would be recalled, told Parliament on 31st May, 2018 that the deadline for all telcos to connect to the common monitoring platform was 11th June, 2018.

All telcos were notified by the National Communications Authority (NCA) on 11th May, this year of government’s intention to establish the common monitoring platform (CMP) envisaged by Act 864.

“By law, they had seven days within which to challenge the manner in which the NCA intended to proceed if they were dissatisfied with the proposed technical solution. None of them did so. Presumably, they were satisfied with the proposed solution.”



Concerns

The telecoms chamber requested to meet the NCA to express some concerns to her redress.

Section 7 (b) (7) of the Communication Service Tax (Amendment) Act, Act 864 provides that: “A service provider who has an objection to a request for the introduction of an equipment to the physical node of its network as provided under subsection 4 (b) shall within seven days of receipt of the request, apply to the High Court for a determination of the objection stating reasons for the objection to the request.”



Resort to dialogue

The minister, however, said instead of resorting to court for redress of any objection they had with the introduction of the CMP equipment, the MNOs chose dialogue with the regulator and the Ministry of Communications.

In that same spirit therefore, she said her outfit accommodated and addressed their concerns, explaining that the meeting was held on 16th May, 2018 during which the telcos indicated that the proposed KelniGVG architecture would be intrusive and expose the contents of customers’ communications.



Assurance

The minister assured them of full compliance with the law on protection of the content of customers’ voice and data communication, as the contract itself mandated KelniGVG to do so.

To accomplish this, she directed the technical officers to work with NCA to ensure all such concerns were addressed.

Attacks from IMANI

Apparently dissatisfied with the outcome of this meeting, the telecoms chamber collaborated with IMANI to launch a blistering attack on the CMP starting on 17th May, 2018 instead of going to court.