Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has revealed that all substandard mobile devices imported into the country will be banned and confiscated to reduce cyber threats which have become rampant in the country.
According to her, these cheap smuggled devices are of low quality and do have health implications on persons who patronise such devices.
Ursula Owusu also indicated that the sale of substandard devices on the black-market causes revenue loss for importers, government as well as its operators.
At a press conference in Accra Monday, the communications minister stated that “Ghana has about 34 million mobile devices subscribers with the mobile penetration rate exceeding 119%. It is a huge market for mobile devices. However, some subscribers use substandard and smuggled devices resulting in cybersecurity challenges, it also has health implications and poses revenue loss for importers, the government and operators.”
To address the challenges of the thriving trade of substandard equipment in the country, the minister noted that her outfit “will establish a central equipment identity registry to register all devices in the country and reduce the influx of stolen, substandard and counterfeit mobile devices.”
She added that the center, when operational, will have the capacity to block all unregistered mobile devices imported into the country.
It will also prevent these low-quality phones from having access to any Ghanaian telecommunication network.
The Ghana Central Equipment Identity Register (CEIR) will be connected to the global system for mobile communications association data base to access the unique identifier IMEI of approved all blacklisted devices.
This will ensure that all mobile devices entering the country are properly authenticated to notify the ministry of the scale of ‘used gray or black market devices’ in Ghana.