Robust National ID system required to curb SIM fraud – MTN CEO

…as leading telco announces targets for 2018

Ghana needs a robust and solid national identification system if it is to successfully curtail the persistent challenge of multi-registration of SIM by miscreants, MTN’s CEO, Ebenezer Twum Asante has said.

“The problem is larger than it seems; those selling pre-registered SIMs are able to do so because of the absence of a sophisticated, robust national identification database, otherwise, how could they?” he explained.

MTN, by means of its filters, is able to detect certain patterns and, thereby, disable agents engaged in multiple registrations within a short time.

This, however, is largely on historical basis and, therefore, the need for a national identification infrastructure that can secure sophisticated identification details of citizens and, thereby, helping to proactively nip the problem in the bud.

Asante expressed these sentiments at MTN’s Accra Media and Stakeholder Engagement, March 13, where the country’s leading telco announced targets for 2018 on the back of its performance for the preceding year.

MTN Ghana, in 2018, seeks to build on its ‘BRIGHT’ initiative, launched in 2017

The focus for 2018 is to optimise high-volume customer journey and extend the company’s focus beyond value and network drivers, while also rolling out smart capital expenditure and successfully launching its initial public offer (IPO).

The company will emphasise customer value management and deliver pipeline initiatives, enhancing sales to enterprises. It will also scale up its mobile money operations and rich-media subscriptions.

MTN will deepen its partnerships with emphasis on talent management and succession planning.

It will expand its network and data coverage while also focusing on its digital platforms and transformation.

In 2017, in addition to the ‘Bright Initiative’ MTN launched its Fiber Broadband services and expanded network in unreached areas. 261km of Fiber was deployed with a total of 14,132 Fiber-to-the-home passes deployed. 149 Sites were also deployed in underserved areas.

This year, in seeking to deliver its “Bright Future” MTN Ghana’s Fiber rollout will extend to about 695km and existing sites will undergo capacity upgrades, while 200 Rural sites are earmarked for coverage extension.

The company projects CAPEX investment of US$144 million and is embarking on expanding and Improving on projects. On its 3G network, 1100 new sites will be deployed to improve population coverage by 27 percent.

In 2017, the company expanded its Data, Digital, and VAS services while scaling up its MoMo services, thereby positioning it at the forefront of efforts at driving financial inclusion with mobile money. For the year, MTN had 8.3 million active wallets (90 Days) and 90,000 Active Agent points (30 Days)

A total of GHS 98.9 million Interest payment was made to subscribers from January 2016 to December 2017, out of which GHS71m was paid in 2017 alone, indicating tremendous growth over the period.

An average monthly commission of GHS19.6 million was paid to agents.

MTN also broadened its partnerships in 2017; partnering 16 banks, in addition to a growing list of technology companies.

By Emmanuel Kwablah