2011 Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 31 Aug 2011 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 63

Analyst: Peter Lange

Publication Overview

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

  • One of the most vibrant mobile markets in the region;
  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) trends;
  • Internet development;
  • Broadband, including 3G mobile;
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
  • The emergence of m-banking and m-payment services.

Researcher:- Peter Lange
Current publication date:- August 2011 (10th Edition)

Executive Summary

Mobile penetration has broken the 75% barrier

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 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 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 (ARPU) which has fallen below US$5 per month for some of the operators. While the voice market is approaching saturation at more than 75% penetration in mid-2011, 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 10% of the population, but developments are now speeding up 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:

  • Mobile penetration has broken the 75% barrier;
  • Decreasing ARPU under intense competition between six mobile networks;
  • Mobile market forecasts to 2013 and 2016;
  • Estimates for fixed-line and Internet markets to end-2012;
  • Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
  • Various national fibre backbone rollouts.

Estimated market penetration rates in Ghana’s telecoms sector – end-2011


Penetration rate







(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources) 

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

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