NCA Type Approval Policy generates interest at ITU Telecom World

The Type Approval Program of the National Communication Authority (NCA) is generating some interest among foreign entities attending this year’s ITU Telecom World Conference who want accreditation to test electronic equipment abroad before they are shipped to Ghana.
 
At least two South Korean-based laboratories made enquiries about testing for Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) receivers earmarked to be imported from South Korea to Ghana, and one of them, Dt&C actually requested for the procedure to apply for accreditation to do so. Dt&C is a global electronic, electrical and ICT equipment testing company that tests a wide range of equipment for both industrial and domestic use. They already have footprints in Africa, the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Oceania, and they want to test equipment such as televisions and decoders per NCA Type Approval standards before those equipment are even allowed to leave the ports of South Korea to Ghana.
 
Deputy Director for Engineering at NCA, Edmund Fianko, who led the NCA team to the ITU Telecom World 2017 in Busan, told Adom News the kind of interest shown in the NCA’s Type Approval standards, may not be a direct investment into Ghana but it will help the NCA to save cost. He explained there are three categories of tests on DTT receivers – electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) test, radio frequency (RF) test and the service information and program specific information test, adding the is some local capability to do in-country audit, which is to perform selected tests locally but other tests need special labs and capabilities.
 
Edmund Fianko according to their analysis said, they realized the business case does not support the establishment of a specific lab for those tests locally so they would rather leverage existing labs abroad, particularly because most of the equipment to be tested are manufactured in those countries anyway. He went on to say, “This has a positive side because it helps the country to save cost and invest that money in supporting consumers acquire receivers and or supporting local assembling of receivers instead of using the money to build testing lab”.
 
He however stated that before a lab is accredited to do Type Approval testing on behalf of the NCA, that lab itself is tested to ensure it has the capability in terms of the equipment, set up, personnel, processes and procedures required to meet the Ghana-specific standards. According to Mr Fianko, “We would often require that the lab submit a comprehensive report of its capabilities per our requirements and based on our level of satisfaction we would either visit the lab and check for ourselves before accreditation, or issue the accreditation before a physical check, particular when it is well known lab" . He added that the NCA has accredited a number of such labs abroad to do testing on its behalf in specific countries and so the Korean one comes as a welcoming news.
 
Meanwhile, at the ITU Telecom World, Special Advisor to the Somalian Minister of Communications enquired from the NCA how to establish an industry regulatory body and make it work like the NCA does. Somalia is now in the process of establishing a communications industry regulatory body and they had penned down Ghana, and for that matter the NCA, as an example they would like to learn from them. Edmund Fianko said,,"the NCA team also got the opportunity to share some of the initiatives taken to improve the telecom industry in Ghana and make it investor friends with several visitors to the NCA stand". Some of those initiatives include mobile number portability (MNP) that gives consumers choice, regulations on unsolicited electronic communication, digital broadcasting migration and others, while, some visitors also offered to sell some monitoring solutions to the NCA.
 
Ghana is being represented at the ITU Telecom World by a team led by Deputy Minister of Communications, Nenyi George Kojo Andah, and the team comprise of the NCA, National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), Subah Ghana, GCNet, Wireless Applications Service Providers Association of Ghana (WASPAG) and the Bank of Ghana.