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Ghana: NCA announces four bidders for 800MHz licences

Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has received applications for spectrum in the 800MHz band from four companies, it has announced. MTN Ghana, Surfline Communications, Goldkey Telecom and Migson Communications each submitted applications by the 9 November 2015 deadline and now await assessment of eligibility by the NCA. The regulator is planning to auction two blocks of 2×10MHz spectrum in the aforementioned band (valid for 15 years), with a minimum reserve price of USD67.5 million. The regulator noted that applying entities must be registered under the laws of Ghana and duly certified to operate in Ghana, while entities with foreign ownership – companies, joint ventures or consortia – must have a minimum of 35% Ghanaian ownership. Applicants failing to meet the criteria are requested to submit a letter of commitment to have the minimum 35% Ghanaian ownership in place within 13 months from the licence’s validity date, or otherwise face reduction of two years in their licence duration, plus an additional year for each year in which the threshold is violated. The NCA will announce its findings ‘in due course’.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: Afriwave Telecom intends to deliver on ICH licence

According to a report via, Afriwave Telecom has received approval to operate interconnect clearing house services in Ghana following a selection process in which four other companies participated.

The report reveals that ICH is expected to provide a common, independent mechanism for monitoring, routing, billing and settlement of local and international interconnect traffic for all existing and future telecommunications operators in the country.

Afriwave Telecom CEO Philip Sowah said the company has hired partners and industry experts to help bolster team of specialists to deliver on the license which will be rolled out in two phases. He explained that the first phase, – Phase 1A – has two objectives: to provide enhanced services to monitor and validate government revenues, to help government realise its revenues.

Phase 1B will provide other value added services like EIR (Equipment Identity Register) services for the blocking of stolen handsets, a common platform for independent international wholesale carriers to deliver calls and the capability of routing of local interconnect calls.

Source IT News Africa

Ghana: MTN ready to help drive Ghana’s ICT vision for the future

Ghana MTN Ghana has declared its intention to help in building Ghana’s Information Communication and Technology (ICT) vision for the future. The leading network communication company in the country believes that with the existence of a well defined ICT vision for the country, Ghana will leapfrog from its current state to lead the continent in the technology space. With a subscriber base of 15 million and still growing, MTN Ghana is also of the view that Ghana would be able to achieve such a goal through the collaborative efforts of players within the industry including the government, regulator and network operators. The newly appointed Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana Mr. Ebenzer Twum Asante, who also happens to be the first Ghanaian to head MTN Ghana since its inception, made this known to members of the Network of Communications Reporters (NCR) during a brief visit to his office by executive members of the group. The visit was to officially congratulate Mr. Asante for his appointment as the CEO of Ghana’s leading network provider and also introduce executive members of the group to him. Mr. Asante who expressed his profound gratitude for the group’s gesture took time to walk the executive members of NCR through some achievements chalked by his outfit which has also had a tremendous effect on the lives of so many Ghanaian. He recalled how majority of MTN customers some four years ago when the company was celebrating its 10th anniversary were doing only voice, but noted the drastic change some years down the line where out of the subscriber base of 15 million about 8.5 million are doing data. “So in terms of data penetration on MTN network is more than half of the base. And then 4.5 million are also doing mobile financial services and those 4.5 million subscribers are people transacting every single month. MTN is not only growing in numbers but also growing in depth in terms of services that customers are using,” he said. He further pointed out that with the introduction of the Mobile Money Service in Ghana; MTN has been able to facilitate an innovative platform that is impacting positively on Ghanaians. The courtesy call which fortunately coincides with the celebration of MTN 15 millionth subscriber afforded the group also to congratulate the management and staff of MTN Ghana for such an achievement. The Dean of Network of Communications Reporters (NCR), Charles Benoni Okine, speaking on behalf of the group, appealed for more collaboration between MTN and NCR in the area of capacity building. He said such collaborations would enhance the knowledge of tech journalists to better educate and inform the public through their articles.


Ghana: Google to deliver fibre to Ghana via Project Link

On 1 October Google announced that Ghana will be the second African country involved in its fibre-optic initiative, Project Link. The move will see more than 1,200km of fibre cable deployed across the cities of Accra, Tema and Kumasi, connecting local ISPs and mobile service providers, and delivering capacity to help ‘fill the gap in local infrastructure’. The network is already under construction, with Google expecting to start offering the service in early 2016.
Last year the Ugandan city of Kampala was the first in Africa to connect with the Google-backed project, via a 700km fibre link allowing broadband operators to provide local businesses with an improved and cheaper internet service.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: MTN excels in NCA data quality tests INTERNET

Ghana MTN, Ghana’s leading telecommunications operator, has distinguished itself as the most reliable data service provider in Ghana, according to the results of Quality of Service data monitoring tests released by the National Communications Authority. The results of the tests conducted in the Upper East and Upper West Regions are the first to have been released on mobile data by the National Communications Authority and MTN’s network superiority was evident in results for many of the districts tested. In the case of Wa, for example, NCA’s report states that “it was only MTN among all other Operators who achieved the throughput target,” which means that MTN achieved the fastest internet speeds. Again in the coverage signal strength report for Upper East Region, MTN is the only company to be described as having “Good network coverage in Bolgatanga.” QoS monitoring is conducted by the NCA to ensure that telecom operators comply with the quality of service obligations set out in their licences. While NCA has been conducting quality of service tests for voice for some time now, the July 2015 tests are the first for data. The monitoring comprised the following standard Quality of Service indicators and their respective thresholds for compliance — Data Access Time (the response time of accessing the data service when requested), Data Access Success Rate (the probability of success in connecting to a public server), Data Drop Rate (the probability of drop in connection to public server without end user’s intervention), Throughput (the rate of data transfer). MTN’s scores in these measurements demonstrate why the company is a network of choice for 15 million subscribers. Speaking on the Quality of Service monitoring results, Acting Chief Technical Officer of MTN Ghana, Mr. Ibrahim Misto said, “NCA’s report is a testament to MTN’s focus on enhancing our customers’ experience in the digital age; everywhere you go in Ghana, MTN’senormous network investments are making it possible for our customers to enjoy a differentiated experience that brings efficiencies and improvements to their personal and professional lives; the results also demonstrate our commitment to leading the delivery of bold new digital world in orderto brighten the lives of our customers through the services we provide.”“The company will continue to make significant investments in its network to continue to enhance-coverage and customer experience,” he added. MTN Ghana has stated that its position as the network of choice, with approximately 15 million subscribers in a 32 million subscriber market, is the result of systematic, strategic investments and upgrades that enable the company to continue to deliver the most reliable voice and mobile broadband network to Ghanaians. In line with its vision of leading the delivery of a bold new digital world, MTN has earmarked $103 million in network infrastructure investments for 2015 after having invested over $2.4 billion from 2006-2014. MTN has also since January 2014 to date, passed all Quality of Service (QoS) monitoring tests on voice conducted by the National Communications Authority (NCA) in all ten regions of Ghana.

Source: Biztech Africa

Mauritius and Ghana Sign Agreement to Set up a Technology Park in Accra

An agreement for the setting up of a Technology and Business Park in Ghana was signed yesterday in Port Louis. The Mauritian side was represented by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Vishnu Lutchmeenaraidoo, and the Ghanaian side by the Minister of Communications, Dr Edward Omane Boamah.

The Technology and Business Park, to be set up in Accra, will be conceptualised in two phases. The first phase will cover an area of 6,1 hectares with an investment of USD 260 million while the second phase will comprise an area of 37 hectares. The Park will accommodate a cyber tower, a three-star hotel, a polyvalent centre of conferences and an apartment block.

For Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo, this project lays the ground for huge investments between Mauritius and Ghana. He stressed that Mauritius is a small country but with big ambitions while adding that this new opportunity for cooperation based on exchange, sharing and transfer illustrates a new strategy of the Mauritian economy that opens more and more to the outside world. It is important to seek growth outside our borders, he said, since the basic principles of development relate to investment, job creation and profit making.

‘The role of government is to put in place the necessary framework to encourage private operators to engage in businesses overseas. We are opening the path for development and adopting a strategy of expansion’, Minister Lutchmeenaraidoo stressed. In that sense, he recalled that he would lead in November this year a 40 member-delegation comprising of Government officials and businessmen to Ghana for business networking and for the launching of the Park.

The Minister of Communications of Ghana, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, said that with the signing of this Agreement the future of Mauritius and Ghana is linked, while adding that it is important to ensure that the future is beneficial for both countries. He stressed that the setting up Technology and Business Park in Ghana will create jobs and will ensure sustainable development for both countries.

It is to be recalled that this Agreement is a follow-up of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in June 2015 between Mauritius and Ghana. The MoU provides for the creation of an entity, known as TEMA Technology Park Ltd, which will implement and manage the Technology Park in Ghana. The new company would establish an action plan, with clearly defined time frames and tasks, for the successful implementation of the Technology Park, including the responsibility to oversee the implementation of the action plan.

TEMA will also provide a one-stop-shop service to potential investors ensuring promptness and efficiency with regard to administrative processes for their set up within the Park. Furthermore, it will advise the Ghanaian Government on policies for the improvement of business climate in the ICT sector.

Source: Press Release (Government of Mauritius)

Ghana: Mobile Money Safe and Secure for Traders – MTTD Commander

The Techiman Municipal Commander of the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD), ASP Andrew Kofi Okonengye, has advised traders who travels long distances to trade to make use of mobile money services for the sake of their security and safety, in case of robbery attacks on highways.

ASP Okonengye said this at the launch of the 2015 MTN Mobile Money Month at the Techiman Main Market, indicating that even when phones are seized by robbers after an attack, traders could reclaim their monies anytime they had their SIM card replaced by MTN.

He said the increasing reports of robbers taking away the business capital of traders could be a thing of the past, if they subscribe to MTN Mobile Money Service, and robbers who intend attacking because of taking cash would be dissuaded. The MTTD Commander, however, called on MTN to tighten its security of the Mobile Money Service to prevent fraudsters from swindling subscribers and prospective clients.

On his part, the Acting Senior Commercial Manager, Northern Ghana, Peter Bimpeh, indicated that six years after the introduction of the MTN Mobile Money onto the market, it now offers a wide range of services, including the payment of utility bills, bulk payment and payment of school fees for convenience sake.

According to Peter Bimpeh, MTN Mobile Money Service has 4.8 million registered Mobile Money customers, 19,500 merchants, and 18.5 million monthly transactions annually.

He said the service also enables MTN Mobile Money customers, with the help of partners like Lyca, World Remit and Xpress Money and several others, to receive money from abroad instantly on their phones, adding that Ghanaians in the UK, Australia, Switzerland, and Qatar are able to send money to their relatives and friends via the service.

Peter Bimpeh, elaborating on the theme for this year’s campaign, “Mobile Money, driving financial inclusion in Ghana,” said the service can deliver financial services at affordable cost to all segments of the Ghanaian society.

Source: The Chronicle

Ghana: MTN Appoints Acting CMO for Ghana – As Rahul De Moves to Nigeria

MTN Ghana has appointed Noel Kojo-Ganson as its Acting Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective July 30th, 2015.

Mr. Kojo-Ganson, who was the General Manager -in-charge of Consumer Marketing at MTN Ghana replaced Rahul De, who had been promoted to MTN Nigeria as CMO at the sub-regional level.

If he is confirmed as the substantive Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) of MTN Ghana, he will become the second Ghanaian to head that department, after George Andah who is now into frontline politics.

Mr. Kojo-Ganson, who confirmed his appointment to this publication at the launch of this year’s MTN Mobile Money at Makola Market in Accra, pledged to work hard to justify the confidence that the telecommunications giant reposed him. I will also continue where Mr. De left off.

MTN Ghana is very committed to maintaining the number one position in the country’s telecom industry. He would therefore introduce innovative products and services to enable the mobile operator stay top, Mr. Kojo-Ganson stated.

Information from Mr. Kojo-Ganson’s LinkedIn profile indicated he was Head of Marketing at Accra Brewery Limited (ABL), a subsidiary of SABMiller before moving to MTN Ghana.

Mr. De, who replaced George Andah in July 2011 before his promotion to MTN Nigeria had introduced a number of programmes, including the MTN App Challenge, MTN Heroes of Change, MTN Teacher’s Improvement Awards, while a number of products and services were introduced to increase the network’s customer base.

Source: Chronicle

Ghana: USD 15 mln Ethernet expansion set for Accra

Internet solutions, has unveiled a metro-fibre Ethernet network infrastructure expansion project in the capital city of Ghana, Accra.

According to Internet Solutions, the USD 15 million project is intended to meet the growing demand for data and provide faster and more reliable internet solutions to citizens.

Africa Regional Chairperson, Yvette Adouvo Atekpe, said Internet Solutions is at the forefront of providing tailored data solutions to the increasingly complex demands of clients.

“Since the establishment of Internet Solutions in Ghana in 2008, the company has grown to be an integral part of growth and future focused businesses in Ghana and other west African countries. Our commitment to deliver on high end-to-end service level agreements with our global clients, motivates our continuous investment in strategic ventures”

The ISP’s fibre optic network is poised to break the communication barriers in the country. Minister of Communications Emmanuel Omane-Boamah said the launch of the project will enable Ghana to continue to lead in innovative ICT services in the sub-region.

The first phase of deployment will be in Accra with Kumasi, Takoradi and Cape Coast benefiting from future phases.

Source: IT News Africa

Ghana: Tigo to invest USD24m in 3G network expansion; will deploy 275 new cell sites

Millicom Ghana (Tigo) has announced that it will push forward with a USD24 million 3G network expansion, and expects to complete the first phase of the project within the next four months. During the initial phase 114 cell sites will be installed in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions, predominantly in urban locations to ease network congestion in high traffic/highly populated areas. A further 161 cell sites will subsequently be added to Tigo’s network in ‘the next couple of years’. Tigo’s chief technical and information officer Ron Reddick commented: ‘With the increasing smartphone penetration and the rapid development of new services and applications, additional network investment and expansion works have become necessary.’

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: MTN promises $ 103 million this year to modernize and expand its network

Last weekend, Cynthia Lumor, director of the mobile operator business services MTN , leader of the telecom market in Ghana, announced that the company will invest 103 million dollars this year for the modernization and expansion of its network. The announcement, Cynthia Lumor was made ​​during a meeting held in Accra between Ghana and MTN Economic Journalists Association (JBA). The meeting organized by the JBA, but sponsored by MTN Ghana, was an opportunity for the telecom operator to take stock of progress and challenges in the national telecom market.

Economic journalists learned that since the launch of its operations in Ghana, there are nine, MTN has spent $ 2.4 billion on network expansion and improvement. The objective is providing consumers ” of impeccable quality of service . ” The company currently has 14 million subscribers for a population of nearly 27 million. She claims leader in voice and data segments and the basis for the creation of 500 000 direct and indirect jobs.

In the challenges faced MTN Ghana, Cynthia Lumor lamented the high number of taxes to be paid by telecommunications companies. She explained that for every Cedi ($ 0.25) spent by a consumer, a total of 34.5% going into the tax such as the value added tax (VAT), the national tax on health insurance ( NHIL), National Tax stabilization and many more. The Director of Corporate Services MTN has also urged the government to solve the problem of energy shortage leads operators to spend more on fuel for generators to keep the network functional.

Source: EcoFin

Ghana: Mobile data users on the rise

According to the National Communications Authority of Ghana, the number of mobile data subscribers in Ghana rose from 15,804,608 subscribers at the end of February 2015 to 16,106,218 at the end of March 2015, giving a penetration rate of 59.78 percent.

Airtel Ghana’s subscriber base increased 2.39 percent from 2,206,603 in February to 2,259,268 at the end of March, giving it a 14.03 percent mobile data market share.

Tigo Ghana had an increase of 147,811 subscribers or 6.42 percent in March to 2,451,350 from February’s 2,303,539. Tigo closed March with a market share of March 15.22 percent.

MTN Ghana’s subscriber base at the end of March was 7,778,925, up 1.55 percent from 7,660,483 in February, and giving it a 48.30 percent market share.

Expresso lifted its number of customers by 3,270 or 9.01 percent to 39,571 from 36,301 at the end of February, giving it a 0.25% market share.

Vodafone Ghana’s mobile data subscriber base decreased by 6,989 subscribers or 0.24 percent, giving it a market share of 18.30 percent. Its number of users declined from 2,954,125 in February to 2,947,136 at the end of March.

Glo Ghana also recorded a decrease from February’s figure of 643,557 to end March with 629,968 subscribers. Glo’s market share for the month was 3.91 percent.

Source: IT News Africa

Ghana’s cashless payment system woes

Software developer and tech entrepreneur, Agana-Nsiire Agana, has said the poor development of cashless payment system in Ghana has made very difficult and expensive for local tech companies, especially startups, to ask users to pay for their services.
Agana’s co-founded startup, Dokita, allows Ghanaians to interact with doctors to get answers to their medical queries, as well as get informed on topical issues.
However, the startup has not been able to roll out its premium service and move beyond the limit of information dissemination and actually assist patients in booking appointments with doctors. The intention is to also answer follow-up questions that could guide the health professional in making a sound medical judgment on a patient’s condition without seeing the patient directly.
He noted that only a few banks are offering credit and debit cards to their customers, while only a small proportion of mobile subscribers are using mobile money – a resource which is not easy to deploy for ecommerce purposes.

Agana told ITWeb Africa his company is testing various payment methods before they roll out a premium service for paying users.
“We are testing various mediums of payment. We’ve been working with mobile money and credit card payment. I don’t know which one would work better. Naturally people will say it is mobile money but we have to figure out how to make very easy for people to transfer money. The experience with mobile money is not yet seamless which means credit card would be best appropriate. Then again, how many people have credit and cards in Ghana? We are testing all of them.”
While Ghanaians are tech enthusiasts willing to pay for good services online, he said entrepreneurs operating in the sector are still trying to figure out the most appropriate implementation, deployment and payment strategies.
“In Africa we’ve made some modest progress in solving the challenges we have around online payments. But we are haven’t fixed beyond the wildest stretch of imagination – at least not in Ghana. Mobile money is there, but it is not really simple to use it considering its numerous steps, something that may be cumbersome for the average person on the street. Furthermore, uptake is very low. I don’t think 10% of telecoms subscribers in Ghana have adopted any form of mobile money.
“Credit card payments are still restricted to certain types of accounts in certain banks. People don’t just have access. If you will successfully rollout any internet-based software business in Ghana, you are going to have to figure out a way to sustainably raise your revenue. This is very difficult and it’s expensive to make money. That’s the irony of it. It’s expensive because you constantly have to think around different strategies.
“With time, as these things improve, it should become possible for Ghana to have a full-fledged digital health industry. I’ll say within the next 5 years,” Agana added.

Source: IT Web Africa

Ghana: Afrimax exploring 4G options in Ghana?

Netherlands-based start-up Afrimax Group is exploring the possibility of launching 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in Ghana, according to a report by Adom News, citing ‘reliable information’ from an industry source. While the company’s precise plans remain unclear, it has been suggested that Afrimax could bid for 4G-suitable spectrum that will become available as a result of the country’s planned digital terrestrial migration. The spectrum has been valued at USD92 million, but any participating bidder must be at least 40% locally owned.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate in November 2014 Afrimax and UK-based Vodafone Group announced a strategic framework agreement, under which the duo will ‘cooperate and explore opportunities for Partner Market agreements in [sub-Saharan Africa].’ Previously, in September 2014, Afrimax claimed to hold licences and spectrum in 14 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, with plans underway to secure a further seven concessions. Afrimax has a Netherlands-registered business in Ghana, but Adom News has established that the company is not currently in possession of an operating licence.
Meanwhile, possible takeover targets in Ghana could include Surfline Communications, which launched 4G in August 2014, and Blu Telecoms, which switched on its own TD-LTE network in November 2014.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: Airtel MD engages with customers in Kasoa

Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana, took to the streets of Kasoa, a marketing hub in the Central Region, to interact with Airtel customers and retailers in order to gain insight on their experience with the network.

According to Airtel Ghana the aim of the drive was to better understand, at first hand, customer feedback regarding the services offered by the company.

Airtel also stated that: “The exercise was also to express the company’s total commitment to consistency in creating world-class services for the Ghanaian market.”

Lucy Quist stated that: “Our customers are part of the Airtel family. As with any family, we seek the input of all members. We want them to know that their thoughts and sentiments are key to fashioning every product and service we roll out. We pride ourselves in delivering market leading innovative products that directly serve customer needs.” She added that, “spending time with customers is always energizing and enriches us with relevant business leadership insights.”

Source: IT News Africa

Ghana: Alcatel-Lucent completes fibre backbone project

Alcatel-Lucent and Ghana’s National Information Technology Agency (NITA) have revealed the completion of the Eastern corridor rural fibre-optic backbone project.

The Eastern corridor network, designed and deployed by Alcatel-Lucent, spans 775km and links Ghana’s north, south, and international submarine gateways via its eastern corridor. It serves major towns such as Kpando, Jasikan, Nkwanta, Bimbila, Yendi, Tamale, Gushiegu and Bawku as well as 23 smaller communities.

The network uses Alcatel-Lucent’s optical networking platform based on the 1830 photonic service switch with 100G technology.

According to both parties, the project signed in 2012 significantly expands communication links between Ghana’s Coastal line and Northern Boundary to Burkina Faso. The optical backbone will also improve communications links for central and regional administration offices, in support of the national ‘e-Ghana’ Program initiative.

Alcatel-Lucent has also provided computing and storage infrastructure for two data centres including help desk infrastructure, a performance management and rating system and an e-Learning Management System. Alcatel-Lucent will continue to manage network operations for Ghana’s entire ‘e-government’ infrastructure until 2016.

Commenting on the milestone, Daniel Jaeger, Vice-President, Alcatel-Lucent in Africa said: “Through technology and innovation this project will help change the way people live, work and communicate, providing an important platform for sustainable growth and development. Alcatel-Lucent has long-standing expertise in IP transport and we are delighted to be a part of this project to support Ghana’s government initiative in continuously improving communications services for the country. The new network will be a catalyst for change to accelerate the development of rural areas in the country. Indeed every success has its network.”

Source: IT News Africa

Ghana: MTN announces GH¢460 million new investment in Ghana

Ghana’s largest network MTN is to invest GH¢460 million to improve its quality of service, to expand its network and on information technology, according to James Bukari Basintale, MTN’s General Manager for Northern Business District.
Basintale said the network would upgrade sites and equipment and plans to install a high capacity fiber optic submarine cable system.
He explained that the additional investment is geared towards increasing the network’s market share and further positioning it as “the operator with has the widest coverage in Ghana”.
Speaking at a community forum in Kumasi, Basintale said the telecoms company is keen on maintaining quality service to meet customer needs. To this end he said MTN has deployed 3G devices to all the districts in Ashanti Region to facilitate internet connectivity.

“The telecommunications industry remains a driver for economic growth and MTN would make the necessary investment to create jobs,” he said.
The forum was included as part of the fifth anniversary celebration of MTN’s Ashantifest – an annual event celebrated in May to strengthen its corporate relations.
This year’s event focuses on small and medium-scale enterprises, officials of the National Communications Authority and the security services.
The forum provided the platform to educate the people on a wide range of services, including MTNe-self-care, mobile money, cloud services, vehicle tracking and conferencing.
Basintale said MTN would continue to live up to its corporate social responsibilities and cited the construction of health and educational facilities, donation of health-related equipment to hospitals, education scholarship and support to small and medium scale enterprises to grow.

Source: IT Web Africa

Ghana: MTN Ghana CEO Dumps Telecom Giant for GE

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Serame Taukobong, has dumped the country’s leading telecom industry giant for General Electric (GE), an American multinational.

Impeccable sources close to The Chronicle say Mr. Taukobong is going to take up a lucrative role at the Commercial Division of GE Ghana. His resignation from the MTN Group has come as a surprise to staff of the Africa’s leading telecom firm, which operates in over 20 countries.

Mr. Taukobong, who was appointed CEO of MTN Ghana in July, 2013, before his departure this week, had put in place pragmatic measures which will enable the telecom service provider to maintain the number one position in Ghana’s competitive telecom industry.

Although officials of MTN are tight-lip about the South African resignation, the newspaper gathered that dwindling revenue, and happenings at the group influenced his bold decision. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Taukobong was the Chief Marketing Officer of MTN South Africa. He was appointed Group Marketing and Sales Executive for MTN International in 2002, after moving from M-Net Channels, where he was Marketing Director.

Two years after joining MTN, he became the Chief Operations Officer at MTN Uganda.

In 2006, he assumed the role of Sales and Distribution Executive at MTN Irancell, where, among his achievements, he established a distribution footprint of more than 7,000 points of presence. He returned to MTN Group as Executive for Global Brand and Sponsorships in 2007.

Mr. Taukobong became the CMO of MTN SA in 2009, responsible for revenue generation, product innovation, customer development, retention & management, company strategic development, company-wide business development, overall brand communication, sponsorship and PR and strategic revenue development.

Meanwhile, MTN has appointed Ebenezer Asante as the new CEO of MTN Ghana. Prior to his appointment, Ebenezer Asante was the CEO of MTN Rwanda. Mr. Asante’s appointment takes effect today, May 15.This is the first time a Ghanaian has been put in-charge of MTN Ghana.

Before joining MTN in 2008, Ebenezer Asante worked for 13 years with Unilever Ghana, where he held various positions, including serving as Country Manager for Zambia in 2005, and Customer Development Director, responsible for sales and customer development strategy and execution in 2006.

Ebenezer Asante holds a BA degree (Hons) in Economics and Statistics from the University of Ghana, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Henley Management College, and was part of MTN’s Global Advancement Programme (GAP) in 2010.

Ebenezer will be overseeing a subscriber base of about 14.2 million, as compared with the 3.9 million he supervised in Rwanda. Ghana is MTN’s fourth-biggest market, in terms of subscriber numbers, after Nigeria, South Africa and Iran.

Source: The Chronicle

Ghana: mobile data subscriptions on the decline

Despite a positive mobile phone report for the Ghanaian sector, where some 400,000 new subscribers signed up during February, the use of mobile data appears to be on the decline.

According to regulator NCA, “the number of mobile data subscription in Ghana reduced by 1,038 in February to 15.8 million.”

The NCA listed the statistics for each company in an effort to bolster transparency for a sector many experts believe is poised to show massive growth.

It said “MTN Ghana’s subscriptions decreased by 85,642 from January’s figure of 7.75 million to 7.66 million at the end of February. Tigo Ghana’s mobile data subscribers rose by 40,534 subscriptions to 2.30 million in February. Vodafone Ghana increased its mobile internet customers by 1,392 from January to 2.95 million in February.”

There were positives, however, with Airtel Ghana adding 50,753 subscriptions since January, closing February with 2.21 million. But just subscribers declined overall for Glo, it’s mobile’s data subscriptions declined by 9,114 from January and it ended February 2015 with 643,557 subscriptions. Expresso added 1,049 data subscriptions to end February with 36,301 subscriptions, despite seeing a decrease in mobile subscribers.

Source: IT News Africa

Ghana: MTN Rwanda CEO Transferred to Ghana

Ebenezer Asante, the chief executive officer (CEO) of MTN Rwanda, has reportedly been appointed to head MTN Ghana operations. According to media reports, Asante will replace Serame Taukobong who is reported to have resigned recently.

MTN Rwanda declined to comment on the matter. Contacted by The New Times earlier Tuesday, MTN Rwanda public relations officer Teta Mpyisi could neither confirm nor deny the reports.

Reports also indicate that a Rwandan national would replace Asante at MTN Rwanda, with sources saying the changes are part of MTN Group’s reshuffle of its top executives .

Asante took over from Khaled Mikkawi as MTN Rwanda CEO in October 2013. He has since steered the firm’s subscriber base from over 3.5 million customers in December 2013, to over 3.88 million customers as of March this year, according to statistics from the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Asante previously worked for MTN Ghana as a sales and distribution executive and helped to more than double its customer base to 9.9 million in the five years through 2013, according to the company’s website.

The Ghanaian telecom now has about 14.2 million subscribers. The move comes at a time when Crystal Telecom, a subsidiary of Crystal Ventures, is planning an initial public offering (IPO) for its 20 per cent stake in MTN.

Crystal Telecom, a subsidiary of Crystal Ventures announced last month that it would list the telecom’s shares at the Rwanda Stock Exchange this quarter.

MTN Rwanda is the largest telecom firm in the country in terms of subscriber base.

Source: The New Times

Sudatel plans Ghana exit by year-end, eyes 16m subs by 2020

Sudatel Telecom Group has earmarked investment of USD267 million over the next five years to transform Sudan’s telecoms sector and grow its subscriber base, the firm’s chief executive told news agency Reuters. ‘There will be a complete transformation from mobile to ICT and we are investing in strong fibre-optic networks and broadband to achieve our goals,’ Tarig Zainelabdein said on the sidelines of a Sudan-United Arab Emirates (UAE) investment forum, adding that around 30% of the investment will come from equity and the rest from bank loans, mainly Arab and Chinese banks. Sudatel swung to a USD50 million profit in 2014 from losses of USD17 million the previous year and USD46 million in 2012, and the firm expects 5%-10% profit growth this year.
International operations, which include operations in Mauritania, Senegal, Ghana and Guinea Conakry, currently contribute roughly 30% of Sudatel’s revenues, but the company is aiming to increase that proportion to 50% by 2020, with Zainelabdein revealing that the firm was looking at entering new markets in Africa where mobile penetration is low. Sudatel is also aiming to increase its domestic and international subscriber base by 35% over the next five years from the current twelve million to over 16 million. Zainelabdein predicted that half the forecast subscriber growth would come from Sudan and the rest from other African markets. Commenting on its Ghanaian business Expresso (Kasapa Telecom), Sudatel said it plans to exit that market fully by the end of this year, having sold 18% of shares to an unnamed buyer. ‘There were losses and the competition is high there and by end-2015, we will transfer the remaining shares to a buyer,’ Zainelabdein said, without providing further details.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: Airtel, Verifone partner on NFC payment in Ghana

Airtel Ghana has partnered Verifone Mobile Money to raise the bar in the mobile money space by introducing a contactless “tap and pay” near field communications (NFC) technology that will enable an easier and faster way for the growing base of Airtel Money’s over 1.5 million registered customers to pay for their goods and services in a convenient, instant and secure manner. The partnership will provide Airtel Merchants and the numerous point of sale outlets across the country with top notch NFC enabled devices which will provide both merchants and customers a wonderful payment experience when making payments at sales points. All the customer needs to do is a contactless tap at the NFC device with their mobile phone to effect payment via their mobile wallet. Customers without NFC enabled devices will receive a sticker that will enable them enjoy this wonderful payment experience. Commenting on the partnership, Chris Jones, Chief Executive of Verifone Mobile Money said, “This partnership will deliver developed world technologies to the customers of Airtel Money. We believe that NFC technology and the roll out of contactless “tap and pay” across the African continent will help to realize the true economic benefits of cashless economies while driving mobile money adoption through an improved merchant payments experience. We are excited about this partnership and look forward to a long term association.” “We are delighted to be partnering Verifone Mobile Money to enhance the payment experience of our customers. This is a more efficient mode of payment as it reduces the number of steps customers have to go through to make a mobile money payment” said Lucy Quist, Managing Director of Airtel Ghana. “The use of this new technology will further deepen the growing acceptance of cashless payments in Ghana” she added.

Source: BizTech Africa

Ghana; Vodafone Ghana completes USD700m investment one year behind target

Vodafone Ghana has invested nearly USD700 million into its domestic operations to date, in an effort to meet both international standards and the requirements of its parent, Vodafone Group, according to reports from BizTech Africa, citing the cellco’s CEO Haris Broumidis. ‘We have expanded our [cell] sites from an initial 300 in 2009 to more than 2,000 across the country,’ Broumidis commented at a recent event held in Stanbic Heights, in the capital of Accra, adding: ‘These activities have contributed to improving our network … and also meeting the communication needs of new and existing Vodafone customers across the country.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the operator originally planned to spend USD700 million within five years of launching services in the country in April 2009 – although the target has now taken six years to meet. Vodafone Ghana also hoped to reach 25% of the mobile subscriber market share ‘in the medium term’; as at 31 December 2014 it claimed 23.5% of the pie, putting it behind biggest rival MTN which held 45.5% at the same date.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: Airtel Ghana extends fibre footprint; boosts mobile speeds to 42Mbps

Airtel Ghana has extended its fibre-optic backbone network to the cities of Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi, Business Ghana reports, citing marketing director Manu Rajan. In a parallel development the company has doubled the transmission speeds available over its 3.5G cellular networks to 42Mbps. Rajan commented: ‘We continue to offer the very best network, and we will continue to introduce new innovations and expand covered markets to ensure even more coverage across Ghana. Customers can take advantage of the benefits of the increased speed from 21.6Mbps to 42Mbps on compatible devices.’ While the precise platform used by Airtel was unconfirmed, TeleGeography notes that 42Mbps speeds are generally enabled by the deployment of Dual Carrier (DC)-HSPA+ technology.
TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Airtel’s Ghanaian arm launched 2G and 3G networks in December 2008, before rolling out HSPA+ 3.5G services in January 2012.

Source: TeleGeography

Ghana: Surfline set to receive USD15m investment boost

Ghanaian operator Surfline Communications is set to receive USD15 million in funding from German finance institution DEG, via a co-investment with South Africa-based financial group Vantage Capital. The investment will be used to expand Surfline’s 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, improve its marketing capabilities and enhance its existing distribution channels. The funding follows on from a previous USD15 million investment in the operator from Vantage in November 2014. Gunnar Stork, director of equity and mezzanine for the Africa and Latin America department at DEG, commented: ‘We believe that the investment in Surfline will contribute to improve internet connectivity in Ghana and as such be an important factor to bridge the digital divide.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, privately owned Surfline was established in 2011 and went on to launch its 4G network in August 2014.

Source: TeleGeography