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Ghana Advances Carrier Traffic Measurement Effort

June 20, 2018

Ghana is reportedly installing a system to monitor carrier network activity. The government says that will allow it to more accurately measure per-carrier traffic to ensure individual service providers are taxed correctly. But the move has been controversial due to personal privacy concerns and at least one suggestion that the deal is fraudulent.

To date, Ghana tax officials have relied on call data records that operators submitted to the National Communications Authority. However, the government says the CDRs could be altered to indicate lower call volumes.

IT Web Africa says the move to install the monitoring system and get operators to connect to it has been a controversial one. Some carriers said the system could compromise the privacy of subscriber data.

But the government has assured them that a filtering server and mirroring installation will ensure the system operator gets only the information it needs to do general volume measurement. "No other information – voice, SMS, video or data, will be received by KelniGVG servers," said Minister of Communications Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, as quoted by IT Web Africa.

The IT Web Africa report went on to add: “However, Franklin Cudjoe, President of Ghana's policy think tank IMANI Africa described the deal as ‘fraudulent’ and urged that it be cancelled, as well as a full investigation into the matter and the removal of the Minister.”

Ghana will pay KelniGVG $89 million upfront to build, operate and manage a telecommunications revenue monitoring platform. This deal, which was awarded in December of 2017, calls for KelniGVG to establish a network operations center, install GSM gateways for anti-fraud management on international inbound traffic, and erect a telecom traffic monitoring system. Additionally, KelniGVG will get $1.5 million each month for 5 years to support this effort, the report indicates. The media outlet adds that this deal could be automatically renewed.

Edited by Maurice Nagle