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NCA vows to rid country of sub-standard telecommunication equipment

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has reiterated its resolve to ensure a safe and standardised electronic communications industry so as to protect consumers.

At a consultation workshop on its “Type Approval Draft Regulation” in Accra yesterday, Acting Director General of the NCA, Mr Joe Anokye, hinted of plans by the Authority to “undertake market surveillance to ensure compliance such that non-compliance by falsely claiming to have secured the type approval is cured.”

The workshop, the third in the series of engagement with industry players was to apprise them on the components of the regulation and solicit their inputs for smooth implementation in the nearest future.

The “Type Approval” is an official confirmation that ensures that all radio communication and telecommunication equipment used in the country complied with international standards and are applicable here.

It is also to ensure among other considerations that, no substandard equipment which may pose health and safety hazards to consumers in general, are operated in the country.

The Director General noted that in line with the NCA’s mandate to ensure that all electronic communications equipment (ECE) were safe for use, it was an “offence for anyone to use, sell, offer for sale or connect any telecommunication apparatus that is not authorised to be used in the country.”

He mentioned that the Authority now operated three laboratories; the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) lab, Radio Frequency Lab and the EMF lab to effectively test electronic communication equipments.

“The SAR ensures that wireless transmitting devices like mobile phones, laptops and tablets do not emit more radiation than required while at the Radio Frequency Lab, testing aims at checking the functioning of equipment within their electromagnetic environment.

“Signalling testing is conducted to ensure that the equipment functions as required under different multiple access technologies and the EMF Lab measures electromagnetic field levels from base stations of mobile network operators, WIFI access points, FM and TV transmitters indicating limits for public and occupational exposures,” he pointed out.

Mr Anokye urged stakeholders to continue abiding by existing guidelines until the drafted regulations is passed by Parliament.

Presenting an overview of the policy, Mr Isaac Kofi Boateng, Deputy Director, Regulatory Administration of the NCA, elaborated that the Type Approval Regulation was necessary in the wake of unsafe and fake electronic, technology equipment, disruptions of public networks, fraud and non-compliance to standards.

He was confident the coming into full force of the regulation would among others ensure that manufacturers, dealers and authorised agents of ECE complied with national and international standards.

“The NCA must be informed prior to the importation of any ECE after the type approval which takes 20 days after an application is put in, takes effect and this we hope will reduce to the barest minimum the fake goods on our markets,” Mr Boateng stated.

Regional Manager of the workshop, Mr Yaw Baafi believed the inputs of industry players during the various consultations would make the document “complete and valuable at the end.”

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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