Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Forecasts - Ghana
Imminent LTE launch to strengthen the fast-developing mobile broadband segment
Ghana was one of the pioneering countries in Africa for liberalising and deregulating its telecoms sector. The privatisation of Ghana Telecom in 1996 was the catalyst for an extraordinary growth in market competition across the mobile, internet and fixed-line segments. Vodafone took over Ghana Telecom in 2008, while the second national operator Westel was became a member of the Zain Group, one of Africa’s leading mobile operators which was in turn taken over by Bharti Airtel in 2010.
The landing of additional submarine fibre optic cables in recent years dramatically increased international bandwidth. This has had a knock-on effect on consumer pricing. IT Sparkle has also built an IP hub in Accra, channelling more traffic locally than through European hubs. Improved international connectivity, combined with the continuing roll-out of national fibre backbone networks by a number of players (and part funded by government programs) is continuing to revolutionise the country’s broadband market, and pave the way for the convergence of technologies and services.
Ghana was among the first countries in the region to connect to the internet and to introduce DSL services. The sector is highly competitive, with a large number of ISPs licensed although a few players alone control most of the market. Most growth is in wireless and mobile broadband, which account for the vast majority of connections.
The vibrant mobile market has six competing operators, including the regional heavyweights MTN, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel and Millicom. While the voice market is saturated, there is enormous growth potential for mobile data services, and so operators have concentrated investments in broadening their HSPA and LTE footprints.
Fifth international submarine fibre optic cable launched; Ghana Information Communication Technology Council set up to guide the ICT sector; fibre optic backbone network in the Eastern Corridor opens; WHO-sponsored eHealth system developments; bandwidth cost plummets to a tenth of the price in 2007; mobile operators ordered to repeat SIM card registration following widespread use of fake IDs during the process; Thuraya to provide mobile satellite services for Airtel Ghana; regulator’s fines on MNOs for QoS issues stimulate additional investments; mobile broadband services representing majority of internet connections; areas; regulator’s market data to May 2014; telcos’ operating data to Q2 2014; market developments into 2014.
Companies and subsidiaries covered in this report include:
Vodafone (Ghana Telecom); Bharti Airtel (Zain/Celtel, Westel); Capital Telecom; Globacom, Main One; VoltaCom; Phase3 Telecom; Suburban Telecom; MTN Ghana; Millicom Ghana (Tigo); Expresso Telecom (Sudatel, Kasapa); Globacom (Glo Mobile); Thuraya; Network Computer Systems (NCS); InternetGhana; Africa Online; BusyInternet; Linkserve; IDN; Infinite Stream Ghana; Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG); Cactel Communications; O3b Networks; Internet Solutions; Phase3 Telecom.
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year