2009 Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 5 Aug 2009 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 67

Analyst: Peter Lange

Publication Overview

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 developments;

·         Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;

·         ARPU trends;

·         Internet development;

·         Broadband, including 3G mobile;

·         Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).


Researcher:- Peter Lange

Current publication date:- August 2009 (8th Edition)

Next publications date:- August 2010

Executive Summary

Ghana has been a pioneer in African telecommunications; it 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 (GT) as early as 1996. Since then, Ghana has become one of the continent’s most vibrant mobile markets with six competing operators, including regional heavyweights such as MTN, Vodafone, Zain and Millicom (Tigo).


Following the exit of Telekom Malaysia, GT was re-privatised to Vodafone in 2008. Similarly, the second national operator, Westel, was re-privatised in 2007 and became a member of the Zain Group, one of Africa’s leading mobile operators. An initial public offering is expected from both companies in 2010. The highly competitive bidding for both companies indicates the huge potential that is seen in the market despite the intense competition. New submarine fibre optic cables set to reach the country during 2009 will introduce competition to the current monopoly provider of international fibre bandwidth and support the ongoing convergence of technologies and services.


The Internet sector is highly competitive with more than 140 licensed ISPs, although the bulk of the market is in the hands of only a few. Internet penetration is still very low, mainly due to the poor condition of the national fixed-line network and the high cost of connectivity. The emergence of wireless and mobile broadband technologies is now speeding up developments, and the newly privatised GT is expected to be more effective in the future in driving the broadband market by expanding its retail as well as wholesale offerings.


The number of mobile phones in Ghana exceeds the number of fixed lines by more than 40:1. With a combined teledensity of only just over 50% and an Internet user penetration of 5%, enormous further potential exists for basic voice as well as broadband data services.


Ghana – Key telecom parameters – 2004; 2008

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Fixed-line services:

·         Total subscribers



·         Annual change



·         Fixed-line penetration (population)




·         Total users



·         Annual change



·         Internet penetration (population)



Mobile services:

·         Total subscribers (million)



·         Annual change



·         Mobile penetration (population)



(Source: BuddeComm)


Key highlights:

·         Forecasts for fixed-line, mobile, Internet and broadband markets to 2010 and 2015;

·         Profiles of major players in all market sectors;

·         IPO’s of major players expected in 2010;

·         Mobile penetration has broken the 50% barrier;

·         Decreasing ARPU under intense competition between six mobile networks;

·         Competition in international fibre bandwidth set to arrive in 2009 will revolutionise the market;

·         Next-generation infrastructure enabling converged voice, data and video services.


Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


The following notes provide some background to our scenario forecasting methodology:

·         This report includes what we term scenario forecasts. By describing long-range scenarios we identify a band within which we expect market growth to occur. The associated text describes what we see as the most likely growth trend within this band.

·         The projections shown in the tables in this report are based on our own historical information, as well as on telecommunication sector statistics from official and non-official, national and international sources. We assume a possible deviation of 15-20% around this data.

·         All statistics for GDP, revenue, etc are shown in US$, in order to maintain consistency within and between markets. At the same time we acknowledge that this can introduce some irregularities.


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 (ARPU);

·         The emergence of m-banking and m-payment services.

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