MTN Ghana says disruption in its services caused by fibre cable cuts is on the rise, having suffered 382 incidents between January and March, this year, alone.
Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of fibre cuts of 159, representing 41 per cent, above Western, Greater Accra and Central regions.
Corporate Services Executive at MTN Ghana, Sam Koranteng, blames the situation on construction works, among other factors.
The Telecoms Chamber says the destruction of underground fibre optic cables cost mobile telephony operators in excess of $3 million, last year.
MTN Ghana says it lost almost ¢39 million in revenue between October 2018 and February 2019, due to such destructions.
It costs the company almost ¢7,000 to repair each fibre optic cable destroyed. For instance, the company spent ¢7.5 on the repair of fibre optic cables in 2018.
Mr Koranteng says the state lost over ¢17 million in regulatory fees and tax.
“It causes revenue loss. From October last year to February this year when we did the calculations of the down times of the network, which resulted in revenue loss, we have approximately lost about ¢39 million in terms of revenue.
“If we had been able to realise that ¢39 million, in terms of taxes and regulatory fees, we have lost that money as well. For regulatory fees, we estimate it at ¢7,800 million that would have gone to NCA and GIFEC; in terms of government of Ghana, it came up to ₵ 16 million.”
Despite huge commitments, destruction of fibre optics resulting in service disruption or shut down persists.
“Sometimes we suffer double fibre cuts; triple fibre cuts. On the 9th of April for example, we suffered five (fibre cuts) which brought down a significant part of this country. On the 12th of April, it went on to six fibre cuts almost simultaneously.”
MTN Ghana says it invested ¢825 million in network and information technology improvement in 2018.
It also rolled out 368 kilometres fibre optic cables to over 2,000 sites across the country.
Mr Koranteng wants public support in the fight against fibre cuts, with attendant long-term social and economic implications.