On Thursday 31st May 2018, Parliament approved the implementation of the KelniGVG contract with the Ministry of Communication and the Ministry of Communication Finance to Build, Operate, Manage and Transfer (BOMT) a Common Platform (CP). This CP will be used for telecom oversight, revenue assurance, mobile money oversight, and fraud management purposes.
In a statement to Parliament, Minister of Communications, Hon. Ursula Owusu Ekuful stated that the US$89 million contract was the best deal the country could get for the kind of services needed, compared to the previous contract that cost about twice this amount and did not include mobile money and real-time traffic data.
The Minister vigorously rejected baseless allegations of corruption and underhand dealings, alleged by some opponents to the project, in the award of this telecom revenue assurance and monitoring contract to KelniGVG.
She further stated that, after five years, ownership of all the equipment and infrastructure implemented for the execution of the contract will be transferred to the state.
“This issue has, rather, unfortunately, generated some apprehension which in my view, is unnecessary,” she said. “The monthly traffic data collated by the NCA and the network operators for free was substantially the same data presented by Subah and Afriwave, for which the latter companies were paid US$2.6 million dollars per month. We were paying for no work done. This was the situation the NPP government inherited, and it clearly could not continue.”
“Mr. Speaker, the fee for this transaction, US$1.49 million per month, (as against the $2.6 million paid monthly to both Subah and Afriwave) is within the industry average for Platform as a Service (PaaS) contracts of this nature,” the Minister added.
She also stated that all the telecom operators resisting the implementation of the new monitoring law in Ghana have, without question, accepted and are complying with the same monitoring regime in Uganda and Rwanda and she wondered why they are dragging their feet here in Ghana.
Except for Glo, Hon. Ursula Owusu Ekuful said all the networks have refused to comply with the law, insisting the government will not renege on its responsibility to ensure they do.
So far, KelniGVG have completed high-level design for MTN, Airtel-Tigo, Glo and Vodafone, procured and delivered servers and racks to be installed at the operators’ data centers and completed the installation of a Network Operating Centre (NOC) at the NCA Tower. This stage of works covers civil works, air conditioning, fire protection, clean power, monitoring screens, set up of work stations for agents, racks and servers for data aggregation and analysis, and furnishings.
Installation of GSM Gateways for antifraud management on international inbound traffic as well as first campaigns of daily fraud detection calls have also been completed and first reports were presented to the NCA.
The system to analyze and report on monthly CDRs for the NCA has been in place since March 2018.
As ordered by the Government, all telcos have until June 11 to comply and connect to the CP. Past this deadline; the National Communications Authority (NCA) will start imposing fines to the non-compliant ones.