LOCAL OPERATOR GHANA TELECOM SEEKS TO ADD WORKING CAPITAL TO ITS WEALTH OF TECHNICAL EXPERTISE
GHANA TELECOM aims to increase its mobile subscriber base thanks to a deal with Norwegian company Telenor
The telecommunicationS landscape has altered significantly in recent years. The creation of Ghana Telecom, following its split from the former Posts & Telecommunications Corporation in 1996, and the licensing of a number of cell-phone operators, has added fresh dynamism to the sector.
in the world, the demand for cell phones has been explosive, while the number
of fixed lines and public payphones has also risen dramatically in the past
There is still a long way to go, of course. Though Ghanas telecommunications network can be considered more advanced than many other countries in the region, there is still a chronic shortfall in services. In spite of the sectors liberalization and privatization in the past half decade, access to basic telephone services is still limited, with just 273,000 fixed lines serving a population of around 20 million. In terms of the number of lines per 100 people, the figure climbed from a paltry 0.44 in 1996 to around 1.48 in 2002.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Telecom
to Dickson Oduro-Nyaning, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Ghana
Telecom, the major constraint facing the national operator is simply lack of
cash. Despite a turnover close
to $100 million, there is great pressure on funding for major capital investment programs.
Most other factors are in the companys favor, however. It is highly regarded by the people of Ghanaits One Touch mobile service is perhaps the countrys most sought-after brandand it has the technical expertise necessary to implement sophisticated infrastructure projects. Indeed, some mobile competitors rely on its engineers to support their own services.
says: Ghana Telecom has branches in every district in the country. It
is well known to the general public, even in the hinterland. It is on everybodys
lips. Our only constraint is funding.
There are high hopes that Ghana Telecoms new strategic partnership with Norwegian firm Telenor will improve the situation. The government wants to see an additional 400,000 lines, nearly double the existing number, within a couple of years. The relationship with Telenor will be crucial in achieving these figures. Ghana Telecom is hoping that the injection of additional funding and know-how will spark the transformation.
partnership follows a decision by the government not to renew a previous agreement
with a Ghanaian-Malaysian consortium called G-Com, which was led by Telekom
Malaysia and owned a 30% stake in Ghana Telecom. Many believe that it achieved
few real results during its five-year management period.
Mr. Oduro-Nyaning hopes that the new deal will enable Ghana Telecom to tap the rich potential of the mobile sector, where the company faces stiff competition from Spacefon, which boasts the largest market share, and Buzz. Though One Touch has a strong reputation, the network is in urgent need of investment to handle future growth. Still, there are plans to increase the subscriber base to about 200,000 by the end of the year.
Longer term it also hopes to broaden coverage to more remote parts of the country. Our aim is to ensure that Ghana Telecom gets to every regional and district capital and even to the rural areas, he says. The government has proposed that services are extended to every educational institute, senior secondary schools and training college, in the not too distant future.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT SUMMIT COMMUNICATIONS AT: 1040 FIRST AVENUE, SUITE 395, NEW YORK, NY 10022-2902. TEL: (212) 286-0034 FAX: (212) 286-8376 E-MAIL: email@example.com