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Business News of Saturday, 22 September 2012

Source: Daily Guide

MTN CEO Worried Over Delayed Permits

Michael Ikpoki, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, has expressed concern over delay in the issuance of permits for the installation of telecommunication masts and antenna by relevant stakeholders.

He said “we have close to about 30 sites because we have not been able to get permits to install our masts and this is quite challenging.”

Most network operators have over the years complained about delays in obtaining permits to mount their masts to increase capacity and improve their network quality and coverage.

Before a network operator can mount a mast or antenna, it needs separate permits from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and District, Municipal and Metropolitan Assemblies.

In obtaining the permit, the operator must, among other things, obtain written neighbourhood consent from people living close to the spot where the mast is to be erected.

Mr. Ikpoki told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE in Accra during the launch of MTN’s 11 million subscriber milestone that MTN was in talks with relevant stakeholders to address the problem.

The CEO also raised concerns over fibre cuts which he said was negatively affecting not only the operations of the company but its subscribers who experience call cuts when such problems occur.

He stated that “this month alone MTN has suffered about 25 fibre cuts and each of these cuts depend on how much traffic it carries, it also affects the service we render to our customers.”

He noted that MTN, through the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, was working with National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana Highway Authority and the Municipal Assemblies to address the issue.

“It is an industry wide issue and we are getting a lot of support from our key stakeholders,” Mr. Ikpoki noted.

He said despite these challenges “MTN remains very proactive and would continue to provide our subscribers with the best services available.”