Non- Significant Market Operators – AirtelTigo and Vodafone Ghana – are eagerly preparing on how to take advantage of the new classification of MTN as a Significant Market Power (SMP), following the National Communication Authority’s (NCAs) declaration.
Sources familiar with the issued confirmed to Goldstreet Business that currently Non-SMPs are awaiting modalities to be issued by the NCA, in order to carry out plans to take advantage of the available opportunity.
Nevertheless, key industry analysts have indicated that the NCA is most likely to delay the issuance of modalities given that MTN has referred the matter to the Law Courts for redress in the form of a judicial review of NCA’s decision, to ensure the observance of the requirements of procedural fairness.
There are widespread worries among industry analysts however that NCA’s impending efforts to curb MTN’s alleged “predatory pricing” will ultimately result in higher tariffs charged by the industry since the regulator aims to ensure profitability f MTN’s competitors so as to allow them remain in the market and thus prevent MTN from effectively becoming a monopoly by which time it could set inordinately high profits from which it could derive supra-normal profits.
Trend analysis of data from the National Communications Authority (NCA) indicates that subscription numbers for voice packages as at the end of first quarter 2020 had grown by more than one million subscribers from the figures recorded at the end of 2018.
The latest statistics from the NCA, while welcome with regards to usage of voice and data, also reflect the growing market dominance of MTN, a situation which the industry regulator asserts, has persuaded it to take steps to curb.
MTN Ghana held about 57.07 percent share of the overall mobile telecoms market by the end of March 2020, growing from 49.08 percent at the end of 2018. Meanwhile, other competitors declined significantly in terms of market share. Vodafone Ghana declined by 3.03 percent, from 23.97 percent to 20.94 percent at the end of March 2020. AirtelTigo also decline by 4.89 percent, from 25.14 percent two years ago to 20.25 percent, whereas Glo market share further declined to 1.74 percent from 1.81 percent.
Although the time to level the playing field is now, most industry watchers have cautioned that, this must be done in a way not to punish MTN for its superior investment in the development of ICT in the country.
The Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana in a brief said, “Whatsoever actions and strategies the Regulator eventually outlines, the other non-SMP players in the industry must be obliged with commitments to match with the required investment, whatever opportunities are extended to them, after all as the saying goes, to whom much is given, much is expected.”