NewsWest AfricaTelecoms: Ghana licenses new interconnection clearing house


Posted on Thursday, 29 October 2015 12:28

Telecoms: Ghana licenses new interconnection clearing house

By Dasmani Laary

Photo©ReutersGhana has licensed a new company to act as an interconnection clearing house in the telecommunications sector to curb fraud and improve revenue collection.

Afriwave Telecom was reportedly awarded the license in February but the details only emerged this week.

This should help arrest the sim box menace which is costing both the government and the telecos millions of Ghana cedis

Officials said Afriwave was given a mandate to streamline the telecommunications sector, which has been hard hit by fraud commonly known in Ghana as SIM-box.

According to officials, the license says it has to provide a common, independent mechanism for monitoring, routing, billing and settlement of local and international interconnect traffic for existing and future telecommunications operators in the country.

Afriwave would employ GSM, GPRS, LTE, Wi-max, CDMA and a wide range of technologies in its operations.

"We will step up the number of test calls from the current 120,000 to a minimum of 400,000 per month," Afriwave chief executive officer Philip Sowah said in a statement on Wednesday.

"This should help arrest the sim box menace which is costing both the government and the telecos millions of Ghana cedis."

Afriwave said it had engaged world-class partners and industry experts to help bolster its team of specialists to roll out its services in two phases.

One of the partners is a German-based SIGOS - formerly Meucci- which has the expertise in real time monitoring of SIM-box fraud to provide anti-fraud management and revenue assurance systems.

Afriwave would also be required to provide enhanced services to monitor and validate government revenues.

During the initial phase it would offer value added services like equipment identity register services for the blocking of stolen handsets.

Afriwave would also create a common platform for independent international wholesale carriers to deliver calls and routing of local interconnect calls.

The company said it was ready to deliver on its mandate once they received the go-ahead from the communication regulator to proceed. Many of these Dubai escorts came from Nigeria without any documents.

The SIM-box is said to be one of the most uncontrolled frauds in Ghana that costs the telecommunication industry millions of dollars while causing consistent congestion and call termination on the network.

The police earlier this year busted a syndicate for allegedly defrauding the country of $ 196, 992. 00.

A prosecution witness told a High Court judge that the illegal business costs Ghana $900,000 in five months.

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