SIM Card Registration Data Compromised – Minister

Minister for Communication, Dr Edward Omane-Boamah says the SIM card registration exercise has to be re-run because the data collected has been compromised.

According to him, fake identification cards were used to register large numbers of SIM cards, which has marred the otherwise well-intended exercise.

Speaking at a Digital Family Forum for stakeholders, policymakers, regulators and the private sector, Dr Omane-Boamah said “our position is that this re-registration must be done if and only if the National Identification Authority completes the issuance of the National Identification Cards.”

The ‘Digital Family Forum’ is to provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to discuss in an open and frank manner their expectations regarding policy and regulation within the telecommunication, broadcasting and the ICT sectors.

The forum is a platform for co-operation among sector players and an opportunity for the resolution of differences, which may be a nurturing and breeding grounds for the generation of innovative ideas to propel the ICT, broadcasting and telecommunication sectors forward.

Dr Boamah noted that evolving needs will continue to haunt all service providers, adding that industry players should brace up and appreciate that at no point in time will consumers be infinitely satisfied with the quality of service they provide.

He said industry players are confronted with ever-present challenges which they must find answers to, even as we continue to contribute impressively to the services sector of the Ghanaian economy.

Dr Boamah noted that the services sector accounted for 49% Gross Domestic Product in 2012 and recorded the highest growth rate in 2013 by registering a growth rate of 8.8%.

He said as at the end of last year, total telephone subscriptions grew to over 28 million subscribers, from a 2012 figure of over 25 million, while mobile data also grew up to 10 million subscribers by the end of 2013, highlighting the growing importance of mobile internet in Ghana.

The Minister said the operations of major global telecommunications companies in Ghana is an indication of satisfaction with our pro-business policies, clear regulatory regime, and above all the country’s appeal as a safe ICT investment destination.

He said these accomplishments give us encouragement to continue to invest in broadband infrastructure to reach all parts of the country and open up opportunities for development.

“I commend the private sector for taking advantage of the country’s enabling environment to investing in Next Generation Networks and other cutting-edge technology applications.”

Dr Boamah said President John Dramani Mahama expects not only an improved local content participation in our sector but also requests us to generate much more employment opportunities for our youth.

He expect that this initial engagement will help reveal the future course of action and policies and programmes that would be pursued to satisfy the objectives of national development, citizens’ satisfaction and private sector growth.

The Director-General of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Mr Paarock Vanpercy, noted that the telecommunication industry had seen a massive development in recent years despite the challenges that confronted it.

He said the NCA aimed at providing the necessary framework for internet accessibility to all citizens in the rural and urban areas to bridge the issue of digital divide.

He said in terms of infrastructure, the NCA had licensed five submarine cable operators, 3G internet service to the mobile operators, which had increased data usage, and three companies to provide broadband wireless services.

According to Mr Vanpercy, one of the most disturbing challenges was fibre cut, especially during road construction.