2013 Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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Last updated: 16 Sep 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 55

Analyst: Peter Lange

Publication Overview

This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Ghana’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, internet and broadband sectors as well as opportunities in converging media. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major Players, Revenues, Subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, Broadband (DSL, wireless);
  • Mobile Voice and Data Markets;
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • 3G subscriber and mobile ARPU forecasts to 2015.

Key developments:

A fifth international submarine fibre optic cable launched in May 2013; fibre network for Eastern Corridor completed; bandwidth cost plummets to a tenth of the price in 2007; 3G mobile broadband services representing majority of internet connections; Ghana Information Communication Technology Council set up to guide the ICT sector; fibre optic backbone network in the Eastern Corridor opens; continuing influence of fixed-mobile substitution; regulator’s market data to July 2013; telcos’ operating data to Q2 2013; market developments to September 2013.

Companies covered in this report include:

Vodafone (Ghana Telecom); Expresso Telecom; Network Computer Systems (NCS); InternetGhana; Africa Online; BusyInternet; Linkserve; IDN; Infinite Stream Ghana; Electricity Corporation of Ghana (ECG); Cactel Communications; Main One; O3b Networks; VoltaCom; Internet Solutions; Phase3 Telecom; Telkom Malaysia; Telenor; Bharti Airtel (Zain/Celtel, Westel); Capital Telecom; Globacom, Main One; VoltaCom; Suburban Telecom; MTN Ghana; Millicom Ghana (Tigo); Expresso Telecom (Sudatel, Kasapa); Globacom (Glo Mobile); Thuraya.

Researcher:- Peter Lange
Current publication date: September 2013 (12th Edition)

Executive Summary

Fifth submarine cable vastly improving broadband affordability

BuddeComm’s annual publication, Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in the telecommunications and digital media sectors of one West Africa’s most competitive and vibrant markets. The report includes the regulator’s market data updates to July 2013, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q2 2013, and market developments to September 2013.

Telecom market overview

Ghana has one of the more competitive telecom markets in the region. The country was among the first to privatise the incumbent operator, and was a pioneer in developing mobile telephony and data services. It was also among the first on the continent to connect to the internet. Although fixed-line infrastructure requires considerable investment, the vibrant mobile market has ensured that internet penetration is comparatively high. 

The government has made steady efforts in recent years to develop computer literacy and to extend internet availability through a network of public access venues. Low user penetration in the early part of the century was largely due to the high cost of services, exacerbated by unreliable networks and a poor quality of service. However, in recent years international connectivity has increased dramatically: a fifth submarine cable which came on stream earlier in 2013 has helped reduce the cost of bandwidth to a tenth of that in 2007. Lower pricing has filtered down to consumers, with Ghana Telecom being one of several operators which have invested in national networks to extend broadband availability deeper into rural areas.

Mobile market

The mobile market is well served by six competing players. Services based on HSPA technology have helped extend broadband availability. This has improved the growth potential of m-commerce and m-banking services. MTN Ghana’s Mobile Money service is very popular, complemented by its new ‘ATM Cash Out’ service. The launch of Mobile Number Portability in mid-2011 has also been a catalyst for competition between players, with the number of portings by mid-2013 having increased 21% year-on-year. The time taken to port a number remains very fast by international standards.

Telecom penetration by service:

Penetration by sector:

2013 (e)







(Source: BuddeComm)

Market Highlights

  • In mid-2013 Ghana Interbank Payment and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS) began hosting an online internet gateway. This has helped overcome a major stumbling block for e-commerce in Ghana.
  • In September 2013 the government approved $95 million for Ghana’s digital migration programme. This is aimed at meeting the ITU’'s 2015 deadline to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial broadcasting.
  • In August 2013 the Ghana Information Communication Technology Council (GICTC) was set up to help assess quality of service, monitor the telecom industry, and identifying further market opportunities for the ICT sector.
  • In May 2013 the Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable system was linked to Accra. The cable increased the country’s international capacity to 12.36Tb/s.

This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Ghana. It provides further information on:

  • Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
  • The impact of the global economic crisis;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile voice and data market developments;
  • 3G developments, regulatory issues and technologies including HSPA;
  • Broadband developments;
  • Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts;
  • ARPU statistics.

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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