Four telecom companies in Ghana have now fully connected their networks to the government’s Common Monitoring Platform (CMP) to enable traffic monitoring, revenue assurance, fraud management and mobile money monitoring.

Installed and managed by KelniGVG under a build operate and transfer (BOT) deal, the platform sparked huge controversy over the $1.5million monthly cost to the taxpayer.

There were also concerns regarding a possible breach of customer privacy and data security.

After a lengthy media debate and a suit by citizens, the stakeholders have come to a compromise.

Currently, the system is undergoing various levels of testing with the respective telecom companies towards full implementation on October 22nd.

The CMP contract with KelniGVG is for five years at a cost of US$89million.

The contract is open for renewal for another five years if government feels the need to.

Its implementation is in fulfilment of the Communications Service Tax Law, which enjoins the Ministries of Finance and of Communications to establish a CMP for the purposes of revenue assurance, traffic monitoring, fraud management and mobile money monitoring to ensure the state gets the exact tax revenue due it from the operations of the telecom companies.

The system will monitor the billing platforms and communication traffic flow on the networks of the telecom companies in real time, without interfering with the content of the communication and with the personal details of customers.

This is the first time a third-party company contracted by government has been allowed by the telecom companies to connect their real-time monitoring equipment to collect data for the purposes of revenue assurance.