JOY BUSINESS sources say Afri-wave has won the bid to manage the Telecoms Interconnect Clearing House. The National Communications Authority is expected to make an official announcement in the course of the week.
Afri-wave beat four other companies to win the contract. These include Subah Infosolutions, Global Voice Group – GVG, Prodigy, and Medallion and Consult Telecoms. It is expected to start operations sometime in May.
The Principal Manager in charge of Regulatory Administration at the NCA, Kwame Baah Acheamfour declined comment on the winner of the bid except to say that the clearing house would be the first of its kind.
He attributed this to the fact that, it is tailor-made to play multiple functions to develop Ghana’s telecoms industry.
“Usually the Clearinghouse, just transits traffic and account for transit traffic. The Ghana clearing house, after doing all this transit traffic is even monitoring on-net traffic – something the usual clearing house won’t do. This clearing house would be linking to the bank switch to enable mobile money transfer. Usually people have their financial clearing house but not interconnected. This clearing house would be doing subscriber identity services, where it would crosscheck databases for SIM card registration, something which is very unusual for a Clearing House typically” he said.
All the five companies that bid for the contract were all required to have at least 70 percent Ghanaian stake, and according to Mr. Baah Acheamfour, this is part of efforts to advance government’s local content agenda in the telecoms sector.
“Usually license apart from GLO, initially belong to Ghanaian entities. And if you go back to our most recent licenses, that is where we had the introduction of mandatory, at least 70% Ghanaian ownership for the lifetime of those licenses. If there is better Ghanaian ownership than that, the better but for the lifetime of that license, not a foreign owner can become the bigger shareholder for that license” he concluded.
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