2016 Ghana - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 13 May 2016 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 69

Publication Overview

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

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure developments;
  • Major players, revenue, subscribers, ARPU, MoU;
  • Internet, VoIP, videostreaming;
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttP, DSL, cable, wireless);
  • Convergence and Digital Media;
  • Mobile subscriber forecasts;
  • Broadband market forecasts for selective years to 2021.
  • Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
  • Market liberalisation and industry issues;
  • Telecoms operators – privatisation, IPOs, acquisitions, new licences;
  • Mobile technologies (GSM; 3G, HSPA, LTE).

Researcher: Henry Lancaster
Current publication date: May 2016 (15th Edition)

Executive Summary

Ghana’s government reintroduces import duty on mobile devices

Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to liberalise and deregulate its telecommunications sector. Following the privatisation of Ghana Telecom in 1996 there was very rapid growth in market competition across the mobile, internet and fixed-line sectors, with a number of new players being licensed to offer services. Ghana Telecom, now owned by Vodafone Group, is the principal fixed-line provider and also the second largest player in the mobile services segment. The second national operator, Westel, was also re-privatised, in 2007, becoming a member of the Zain Group, one of Africa’s leading mobile operators, before being sold to Bharti Airtel in 2010.

The arrival of two submarine fibre optic cables in 2012 and 2013 significantly increased international bandwidth and with it reduced the cost of access to broadband services. In addition, Google has built a fibre network covering the major cities through which it provides cheaper access to ISPs on a wholesale basis. These developments, combined with the roll out of national fibre backbone networks by a number of players, are continuing to revolutionise the country’s broadband market and pave the way for the convergence of technologies and services.

Ghana has one of the most vibrant mobile markets in Africa. The first cellular mobile network in sub-Saharan Africa was launched in the country in 1992. There are currently six competing operators, including the regional heavyweights MTN, Vodafone, Bharti Airtel (formerly Zain) and Millicom (Tigo). The entry of Nigeria’s Globacom as the sixth player in 2012 delivered further competition to the mix. Although subscriber growth has been strong in recent years, particularly in 2015, competition has resulted in lower Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and consequently operators have seen stagnant revenue growth. While the voice market is saturated, there is enormous potential in mobile broadband services, both in terms of subscriber additions and in mobile data ARPU. Mobile broadband already accounts for the vast majority of internet connections in the country.

Ghana was among the first countries in Africa to be connected to the internet, and one of the first to launch DSL services. The sector is highly competitive, with more than 140 licensed ISPs although most subscribers are customers of only a few players. Internet user growth was for many years held back by the poor condition of the national fixed-line network and by the high cost of connectivity. However, following the introduction of wireless and 3G mobile and wireless broadband technologies such as HSPA and WiMAX, and latterly by LTE, the sector has in recent years developed rapidly. In addition, the arrival of a further two international fibre links in 2012 and 2013 led to a dramatic fall in the cost of international bandwidth, and so to the price of retail access. The government has also invested in building extensive fibre infrastructure in the Eastern and Western Corridors. The re-privatised national carrier, Ghana Telecom, under the Vodafone Ghana banner, has also been more effective in driving the broadband market by expanding its retail and wholesale offerings.

Key developments:

  • Government re-imposes mobile phone tax;
  • Afriwave Telecom licensed to operate as an Interconnect Clearing House for mobile calls;
  • Airtel Ghana partners with Verifone Mobile Money to launch NFC-enabled devices;
  • National Information Technology Agency sets up a mobile TV service;
  • MTN Ghana secures one spectrum in the 800MHz band, sets to launch LTE services by mid-2016;
  • Vodafone Ghana launches M-PESA service;
  • Sudatel claiming to have sold its stake in Expresso;
  • Google builds out 1,200km of metro-net fibre as part of its Project Link program;
  • Tigo opens Accra data centre;
  • Eastern Corridor project completed, work starts on Western Corridor;
  • Government planning launch of the Ghanasat 1 satellite in 2020;
  • Report update includes the regulator’s market data to January 2016, telcos’ operating data to Q1 2016, recent market developments.


Companies mentioned in this report:

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

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