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Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Ghana’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
  • Average Revenue per User trends;
  • Internet development;
  • Broadband, including 3G mobile
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
  • Researcher:- Peter LangeCurrent publication date:- August 2010 (9th Edition)Next publication date:- August 2011


Ghana pioneer in African telecommunicationsIt launched the first cellular mobile network in sub-Saharan Africa in 1992, it was among the first countries on the continent to be connected to the Internet and to introduce ADSL broadband services, and it led the way in market liberalisation and deregulation when it privatised Ghana Telecom as early as 1996. Since then, Ghana has become one of the continent’s most vibrant mobile markets with now six competing operators, including regional heavyweights such as MTN, Vodafone, Millicom (Tigo) and Zain which was taken over by Bharti of India in 2010.

The entry of Nigeria’s Globacom as the sixth mobile player in 2010 is expected to be aggressive and to sustain the strong growth generated by Zain’s entry two years earlier. This, however, has come at the expense of the average revenue per user which has fallen below US$5 per month for some of the operators. While the voice market is approaching saturation at more than 70% penetration in mid-2010, enormous potential in both subscriber and ARPU terms exists for the provision of 3G mobile broadband services which have surpassed existing ADSL services within a few months of their launch.

Internet user penetration is still low at around 6% of the population, but developments are now speeding up dramatically following the introduction of wireless and 3G mobile broadband technologies such as iBurst, WiMAX and HSPA. The arrival of two new international submarine fibre optic cables, Glo-1 and Main One in 2009 and 2010 has finally brought competition to the international bandwidth sector as well which was previously dominated by GT with its shareholding in the SAT-3/WASC cable. This, in combination with national fibre backbone networks that are being rolled out by various players, is revolutionising the country’s broadband market and paving the way for convergence of technologies and services.

Market highlights:

  • Forecasts for fixed-line, mobile and Internet markets to end-2011;
  • Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
  • Mobile penetration has broken the 70% barrier;
  • Decreasing ARPU under intense competition between six mobile networks;
  • Competition in international fibre bandwidth has finally arrived;
  • Various national fibre backbone rollouts;
  • Update on broadband pricing developments, including 3G mobile;New m-banking, e-learning and e-government initiatives and services.Vodafone Ghana 3G mobile broadband postpaid pricing - August 2010
  • Data included | Price (GHS/month) |
  • 1.5GB | 40 |
  • 2.5GB | 60 |
  • (Source: BuddeComm based on company data)
For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Ghana, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:
  • One of the most vibrant mobile markets in the region;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Internet and broadband development and growth;
  • 3G mobile broadband rollouts;
  • Average Revenue per User;
  • The emergence of m-banking and m-payment services.Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics


2. Telecommunications Market
2.1 Overview of Ghana’s telecom market


3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Regulatory authority
3.1.1 National Communications Authority (NCA)
3.2 West African common regulatory framework 2005
3.3 New competition framework 2006
3.4 Electronic Communications Bill
3.5 Electronic Transaction Bill
3.6 Universal service
3.6.1 The eCARE project
3.7 Telecom sector liberalisation
3.8 Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP)
3.9 Fixed-line licence conditions


4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Fixed-line statistics
4.2 Fixed network operators in Ghana
4.2.1 Ghana Telecom (Vodafone)
4.2.2 Westel (Zain)
4.2.3 Capital Telecom Ltd (defunct)


5. Telecommunications Infrastructure
5.1 Public payphones
5.2 Fibre backbone infrastructure
5.3 International infrastructure
5.4 Submarine fibre optic cables
5.4.1 SAT-3/WASC
5.4.2 Glo-1
5.4.3 Main One
5.4.4 WACS


6. Internet Market
6.1 Overview
6.1.1 Internet statistics
6.2 PC penetration, Affordable computer programs
6.3 Public Internet access locations
6.3.1 Shared access centres
6.3.2 Mobile Telecentre To-Go
6.4 Dial-up
6.5 ISP market
6.5.1 Overview
6.5.2 Major ISPs
6.5.3 Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA)
6.5.4 Ghana Internet Exchange Point (GIX)


7. Broadband Market
7.1 Overview
7.2 ADSL
7.3 Wireless broadband
7.3.1 iBurst
7.3.2 WiMAX
7.3.3 WiFi
7.3.4 CDMA (Kasapa)
7.4 Powerline Communication (PLC)
7.5 Internet via satellite
7.6 International bandwidth
7.6.1 SAT-3/WASC submarine fibre
7.6.2 Other international fibre projects
7.6.3 O3b
7.7 Domestic backbone network infrastructure
7.7.1 Ghana National Public Data Network (DataNet)
7.7.2 GT FastNet
7.7.3 VoltaCom
7.7.4 Internet Solutions (IS)
7.7.5 Phase3 Telecom
7.7.6 Electronic Data Interchange
7.7.7 VSAT networks


8. Convergence
8.1 VoIP telephony
8.2 Broadband TV (IPTV)
8.3 E-Commerce
8.4 E-Government, e-Ghana project
8.5 E-Learning
8.6 Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)


9. Mobile Communications
9.1 Overview of Ghana’s mobile market
9.2 Mobile statistics
9.3 Regulatory issues
9.3.1 Licensing
9.3.2 Tariffs
9.3.3 Interconnect
9.3.4 Taxation
9.3.5 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
9.3.6 Infrastructure sharing
9.3.7 Registration of subscriber details
9.4 Major mobile operators
9.4.1 Vodafone (Ghana Telecom, OneTouch)
9.4.2 MTN Ghana (formerly ScanCom, Spacefon Areeba)
9.4.3 Millicom Ghana (Mobitel, Tigo)
9.4.4 Kasapa
9.4.5 Zain (Celtel, Westel)
9.4.6 Globacom
9.5 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
9.6 Mobile data services
9.6.1 SMS
9.6.2 MMS
9.6.3 GPRS, EDGE, WAP
9.6.4 BlackBerry
9.6.5 Mobile TV
9.7 Third generation (3G)
9.8 Mobile content and applications
9.8.1 Mobile money transfer
9.9 Local handset manufacturing
9.10 Satellite mobile


10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecast - mobile market 2012; 2015


11. Glossary of Abbreviations


List of Tables & Exhibits
Table 1 - Country statistics Ghana - 2010
Table 2 - Fixed-line network statistics - 2010
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2010
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - 2010
Table 5 - Mobile statistics - 2010
Table 6 - National telecommunications authority
Table 7 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2011
Table 8 - Vodafone Ghana prepaid fixed-line tariffs - August 2010
Table 9 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1996; 1998; 2000 - 2011
Table 10 - Internet subscribers and penetration rate - 2005 - 2009
Table 11 - DSL vs dial-up subscribers - 2005 - 2009
Table 12 - Vodafone Ghana ADSL pricing - August 2010
Table 13 - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2011
Table 14 - Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change - May 2010
Table 15 - MTN Ghana ARPU - 2002 - 2010
Table 16 - MTN Ghana 3G mobile broadband pricing - August 2010
Table 17 - Vodafone Ghana 3G mobile broadband prepaid pricing - August 2010
Table 18 - Vodafone Ghana 3G mobile broadband postpaid pricing - August 2010
Table 19 - Forecast mobile subscribers - 2012; 2015
Exhibit 1 - SMS as a weapon against drug counterfeiting

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