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General News of Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Source: GNA

Minister urges NCA to sanction telecom operators in UWR

Wa, April 12, GNA - Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister for Communications, has called on the National Communications Authority to sanction mobile telecommunications network operators in the Upper West Region for rendering low quality services to their subscribers. He said though he spent just some few hours in the region, he had already observed that there was high incidence of call congestion and call drops.

Mr Iddrisu made the call during a public education workshop on electromagnetic fields from telecommunications masts held at Wa. He said the people of the Upper West Region deserved better mobile services, and that 93if any mobile operator fails to provide the quality services as expected from them then that mobile operator should be sanctioned".

Mr Iddrisu said with 17 million Ghanaians using mobile phones and six major mobile telecom companies operating in the country it was justifiable when the public begin to raise concerns about the effects mobile telephone masts had on them.

Mr Iddrisu said the purpose of the workshop was therefore to educate the public on the effects of the masts and also to fashion out precautionary measures to safeguard their effects on the population. He therefore ured mobile operators to consult the people before putting up any telecommunications mast in order to reduce health risks.

He said by July 01, mobile number portability would become a reality in Ghana.

This means that mobile phone users would be able to switch to a different network while maintaining their phone numbers if a user was not satisfied with the services of the old network. Mr Iddrisu said it was a policy decision of government for every district to own a community radio station to further enhance freedom of expression and urged those who have the means to apply. He said with the migration from analogue to digital television Ghanaians would soon enjoy quality TV pictures and sound. Mr Kofi Attor, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), said governments all over the world had created the fund in order to bridge the communication gap between the cities and the rural areas. He said GIFEC since coming into being had established ICT facilities in 38 Training Colleges, 26 Technical Institutes, 36 Vocational Schools including District and Regional Libraries to promote the use of ICT in schools.

Mr Attor said the Upper West Region had been very paramount in the activities of GIFEC and as a result GIFEC had extended its facilities to cover all parts of the region. Alhaji Issahaku Salia, the Upper West Regional Minister, said the workshop underlined the commitment of GIFEC to inform and educate the people of the region on issues of electromagnetic fields exposure and its health related problems.

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