Airtel Ghana has embarked on a major clean-up of its customer base to meet regulatory requirements by the National Communications Authority (NCA). 

The exercise, which began in April is expected to run until 30th September, the NCA stipulated deadline for compliance and involves updating customer details and de-activating non-compliant, inactive or dormant accounts. 

In line with this objective, telecommunications giant Airtel has over the last few months commenced an extensive ‘Know Your Customer’ (KYC) process to regularize customers’ details and to drive compliance.

Speaking to the rationale behind the action, Airtel’s Director for Legal and Corporate Affairs, Hannah Agbozo said “The exercise is in line with regulatory requirements and our focus is to ensure that customers’ details are complete and up to date.

We have, since April, been engaging customers using various channels to ensure that they take the appropriate actions to bring their accounts up to date.

Customers can visit our shops anytime between now and end of August to regularize their details. Alternatively, they can also send a blank text message to short code 400 to check their registration details”.

She continued “to ensure full compliance, we are deactivating accounts that do not fully comply with KYC requirements.

Over the last 4 months, we have taken out a number of non-regularized accounts and we will continue to do so over the period of the exercise to ensure we have a fully compliant customer base”.

In April, Airtel shed more than 70,000 customers as a result of the on-going exercise and it is expected that this will continue to ensure a compliant subscriber database by the cut-off date of September 30, 2016. 

She concluded, “We expect this may result in a dip in our customer base but our focus is on compliance, quality acquisitions and managing a strong base of active customers”.

The NCA report released in July, covering the period of May 2016, pegs Airtel’s voice Customer Market Share (CMS) at 13.13 percent and data CMS at 16.36 percent.

Across the industry, voice customer numbers have slowed with penetration rate pegged at 131.63 percent.

With voice subscription nearing saturation, according to industry experts, growth in Ghana’s competitive telecommunication industry will be driven largely by mobile data.

Over the last one year, Airtel has witnessed significant growth in its data customer numbers from a base of 2.4 million in April 2015 to Circa 3.07 million customers in May 2016.

The company’s data customer growth has been the highest, in percentage terms, across the industry for well over a year.

Currently, Airtel has more than 61 percent of its entire customer base using data services and has clearly positioned itself as the industry leader in data and digital innovation.

A positioning that has won the company several accolades including recently being adjudged the best Data and Internet Services Provider at the Ghana ICT and Telecom Awards.