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Ghana Orders MTN to Halt SIM Sales Over Poor Call Quality

Dec. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Ghana’s National Communications Authority ordered MTN Group Ltd.’s unit in the West African nation to stop adding new users because of poor quality on its network.

“NCA has engaged Scancom Ltd., on several occasions, on the issues of quality of service degradation,” the Accra-based agency said in a statement on its website, referring to the company’s Ghanaian unit. “In spite of these engagements, network performance on MTN continues to deteriorate.”

MTN, which said it reached 11 million subscribers in the country of 25 million people in September, is Ghana’s biggest mobile-phone network operator. The stock pared gains to trade 0.4 percent higher at 166.60 rand by 12:44 p.m. in Johannesburg after rising as much as 1.7 percent.

The carrier will cooperate with the NCA order, spokeswoman Georgina Asare Fiagbenu said in an e-mailed statement. The company is taking measures to “urgently address the recent network challenges in service delivery,” she said.

The directive takes immediate effect, according to the NCA statement. Vodafone Group Plc, Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Millicom International Cellular SA also operate in Ghana, which has West Africa’s second-biggest economy.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ekow Dontoh in Accra at edontoh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Emily Bowers at ebowers1@bloomberg.net

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