Ghana - Mobile Infrastructure, Operators and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Synopsis

Ghana has one of the most vibrant mobile markets in Africa, with competing operators including the regional heavyweights MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana and AirtelTigo, formed from the merger of Airtel Ghana and Tigo Ghana. Although subscriber growth has remained strong in recent years, with the exception of a dip in 2017 resulting from a redefinition of active subscribers from one of the operators, competition has resulted in lower Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and pressure on revenue. The country ranks high in BuddeComm’s Telecom Maturity Index, a testament to ongoing developments in network upgrades among operators as well as efforts by the government and regulator to expand services to underserved rural areas.

There remains enormous potential in mobile broadband services, both in terms of subscriber additions and in mobile data ARPU. Mobile internet connections already account for the vast majority of all internet accesses in the country. The launch of LTE services by MTN Ghana in mid-2016 has added to the vibrancy of this sector, and although the other providers have held back from securing LTE licences, claiming that the cost is too high, the regulator has encouraged them to refarm 2G spectrum for 3G use in a bid to improve internet access in rural and remote areas.

Key developments:

MTN opens m-money kiosks; m-money interoperability launched; regulator to replace 2G licenses with unified access licenses in 2019, announces plan to auction LTE spectrum in June 2018; ISPs and pay-TV providers combine to form Bulgaria’s first MVNO; ISPs and pay-TV providers combine to form Bulgaria’s first MVNO; Tigo Ghana and Airtel Ghana complete merger, create AirtelTigo Money from Airtel Money and Tigo Cash; government re-imposes mobile phone tax; Afriwave Telecom licensed to operate as an Interconnect Clearing House for mobile calls; MTN Ghana secures one of two blocks of spectrum in the 800MHz band, expands the reach of LTE services; Vodafone Ghana launches M-PESA service, expands the reach of 3G to an additional 25 rural communities; Expresso sold to Kludjeson International; regulator informs Expresso of its intention to revoke its licence; strong increase in mobile number portings; Surfline Communications and Blu Telecoms launch LTE services; regulator’s fines on MNOs for QoS issues stimulate additional investments; report update includes the regulator’s market data to September 2017, telcos’ operating data to Q4 2017, Telecom Maturity Index tables, charts and analysis; recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

AirtelTigo (Tigo Ghana, Airtel Ghana), MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana (Ghana Telecom, OneTouch), Expresso Telecom (Sudatel, Kasapa), Globacom (Glo Mobile), Thuraya.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Market analysis
  • 3. Regional African Market Comparison
  • 4. Mobile statistics
    • 4.1 General statistics
    • 4.2 Mobile broadband
      • 4.2.1 SMS
    • 4.3 Forecasts – mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • 5. Mobile regulatory issues
    • 5.1 Quality of Service (QoS)
    • 5.2 Licensing
    • 5.3 Spectrum
    • 5.4 Roaming
    • 5.5 Mobile Termination Rates (MTRs)
    • 5.6 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
    • 5.7 Network sharing
    • 5.8 Taxation
    • 5.9 Registration of subscriber details
  • 6. Mobile infrastructure
    • 6.1 Analogue networks
    • 6.2 Digital networks
      • 6.2.1 GSM
      • 6.2.2 UMTS (3G)
      • 6.2.3 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
  • 7. Satellite mobile
  • 8. Major mobile operators
    • 8.1 Vodafone Ghana (Ghana Telecom, OneTouch)
    • 8.2 MTN Ghana (formerly ScanCom, Spacefon Areeba)
    • 8.3 Tigo Ghana (Millicom Ghana, Mobitel)
      • 8.3.1 Merger with Airtel Ghana
    • 8.4 Expresso
    • 8.5 Airtel Ghana (Zain/Celtel, Westel)
    • 8.6 Glo Mobile
    • 8.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 8.8 M2M
  • 9. Mobile content and applications
    • 9.1 M-banking
    • 9.2 M-health
  • 10. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 2 – Mobile voice subscribers – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 3 – Mobile voice subscribers by operator – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 4 – Mobile voice subscriber market share by operator – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 5 – Overview of mobile network launch dates
  • Table 6 – Mobile broadband subscribers by operator – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 7 – Mobile broadband subscriber share by operator – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2019; 2021; 2023
  • Table 10 – LTE subscribers by operator – 2016 - 2017
  • Table 11 – Vodafone Ghana subscribers – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 12 – MTN Ghana financial data – 2011 - 2017
  • Table 13 – MTN Ghana revenue by type – 2015 - 2017
  • Table 14 – MTN Ghana mobile subscribers (regulator data) – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 15 – MTN Ghana ARPU – 2002 – 2017
  • Table 16 – Tigo Ghana mobile subscribers (regulator data) – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 17 – Tigo Ghana mobile subscribers (company data) – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 18 – Espresso Ghana mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 19 – Airtel Ghana mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 20 – Glo Mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Africa – Top-tier Telecoms Maturity Index (Market Leaders) - 2017
  • Chart 2 – West Africa –Telecoms Maturity Index by country - 2017
  • Chart 3 – West Africa mobile subscriber penetration versus mobile broadband penetration - 2017
  • Chart 4 – West Africa fixed and mobile penetration rates - 2017
  • Chart 5 – Overall Africa view - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita - 2017
  • Chart 6 – West Africa - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita - 2017
  • Chart 7 - Mobile voice subscribers and penetration rate – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 8 – Mobile voice subscribers by operator – 2011 – 2017
  • Chart 9 – MTN Ghana financial data – 2011 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – West Africa - Key Characteristics of Telecoms Markets by Country
  • Exhibit 2 – Generalised Market Characteristics by Market Segment
  • Exhibit 3 – SMS as a weapon against drug counterfeiting

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