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  1. 1. Convergence-Perspective Ghana Ethel Cofie (INIIT,GHANA) International Institute for Information Technology
  2. 2. Introduction • The truth is that convergence has opened a wide array of opportunities to form new business relationships and to compete. • If technology has made media convergence possible, regulatory and structural change has/will make it "doable International Institute for Information Technology
  3. 3. convergence in Ghana • Convergence is creeping in steadily and slowly • Greatest impact of convergence felt in the mobile telephony sector due to intense competition both to attract and keep customers • Print and Broadcast Media organizations using the internet as added/alternate platforms International Institute for Information Technology
  4. 4. Convergence in Ghana • More online newspapers • More and more use of SMS banking services ranging from salary alerts to buying prepaid units from the customers bank account bank account. • More radio stations using the internet as second broadcasting platform • Mobile customers snap and send picture messages, download latest ring tones, play mobile games, send and receive voice, text and e-mails, engage in instant chat with friends and basically browse the Internet using their mobile phones. International Institute for Information Technology
  5. 5. Regulation • Separate regulators for each sector • Media regulated by –National Media Commission • Telecommunication regulated by the National Communication Authority (Specifically, its functions include the regulation of communications by wire, cable, radio, television, satellite, and other related technologies in Ghana.) International Institute for Information Technology
  6. 6. • The Government of Ghana is committed to promoting a technology-neutral legal and regulatory framework that is responsive to rapid changes in the global communications industry in a competitive society which also accommodates converging markets. This is clearly stated in the Ghana ICT4AD policy document. • Duo play of fixed line providers which are partially and fully government owned. Government plans to sell majority share in GT soon. International Institute for Information Technology
  7. 7. Convergence Challenge -- VoIP Official Position of the National Communication Authority (NCA) • 1. VoIP is allowed within the corporate VPN setting. • 2. Licensed International Gateway operators are free to use whatever technology they choose to terminate / originate their international traffic in or out of the country (including VoIP technology), within the right interconnection agreements with other carriers. • 3. ISPs, Internet Cafes are not allowed to terminate international voice traffic on the national PSTN or any other public telephone network, since their license is primarily for data and not voice communications. The NCA however realizes the blurring of the line between data and voice traffic on IP networks, and as such is working on a licensing and regulatory framework to enable qualified operators (ISPs, Internet Cafes) to offer VoIP services to their clients while contributing to the development of the access network and telecom development in the country in general. International Institute for Information Technology
  8. 8. Telecommunication act • The new Ghana Telecommunications Bill met Stiff Opposition at Stakeholders Forum. The reasons assigned by stakeholders were that: • -The Bill on Telecommunications it completely neglected the trend towards convergence and shut out the Internet community altogether though convergence is a clearly stated objective of the overriding Ghanaian ICT4AD policy and that this should be reflected in the bill. • - Board of the NCA as proposed had too much powers and control over the work of the authority International Institute for Information Technology
  9. 9. Finally • There is some debate among stakeholders in the area of convergence primarily fueled by Government. • The challenge is not of managing or regulating communications convergence but of introducing and maintaining healthy competition in a rapidly converging communications environment. • The Emphasis should be placed on more collaboration of the two stakeholders and more debate. International Institute for Information Technology
  10. 10. THANK YOU International Institute for Information Technology