The Type Approval Programme of the National Communication Authority (NCA) has generated some interest among foreign entities attending this year’s ITU Telecom World Conference. The Policy will allow for 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, journalists that 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 that 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 that there 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 said upon their analysis, they realized the business case did 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”.
“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 said.
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. “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, particularly when it is a well-known lab,” he said.