Posts filed under ‘Ghana’
Ghana’s Minister-Nominee for Communications Haruna Iddrisu said yesterday he would forge ahead quickly with plans to usher in mobile number portability (MNP) to improve consumer choice and drive down prices. Iddrisu reportedly made the promise when he was being vetted by the Parliamentary Appointments Committee for the position of Minister of Communications. ‘It is time for the regulation regime to make it possible for mobile phone users to be able to migrate from one network to the other with the whole of the phone numbers, including the network code and I think that it is about time the National Communications Authority (NCA) brought MNP on,’ he said.
In a separate story, Ghana Telecom (GT) says its mobile arm GT-OneTouch will install SIM phones in 250 rural communities across the country by July 2009. GT says its new majority shareholder Vodafone has spent the last six months investing heavily in its networks, services and staff to improve telecoms services in the country.
MTN Ghana (formerly Spacefon Areeba) launched its 3.5G service in Ghana on 28 January using high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology. MTN says its new network will offer a range of data-oriented services and provide for more efficient delivery of existing services such as voice, SMS, MMS, and mobile internet access. Local press were given the opportunity to experience the benefits of 3.5G in a specially-constructed phone booth. Going forward, MTN Ghana plans to roll out more HSDPA-enabled phone booths in the capital Accra. In December 2008 Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology – a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.
Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana, the country’s leading GSM service provider, on Wednesday introduced 3.5G technology onto the Ghanaian market.
The technology represents the next generation of mobile communication systems that supports the effective delivery of a range of data-orientated services and brings with it a new suite of exciting multimedia services such as video streaming, games, music videos, sports and news.
It is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which is a new protocol for mobile telephone data transmission. Mr Mazen Mroue, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, who launched the new technology, said it also provided more efficient systems for the transmission of existing services such as voice, text and data and supported far greater speeds than what was available now. “I am extremely delighted to announce the roll out of the 3.5G technology which puts MTN on the road to providing leading services to our valued customers,” he said.
He said Accra and Kumasi had been selected for initial coverage under the 3.5G technology, adding that the service would be extended to the rest of the country gradually. Mr. Mroue said the 3.5G services would be rolled out in phases, adding that at this phase of the launch, it involved mobile broadband and video calling that would enable fast data speed and allow users to see and talk to people they called in real time.
He said the introduction of the new technology would complement initiatives aimed at improving the overall network quality.
Ghana’s Minister designate for Communications, Hon. Haruna Iddrisu has intimated that his ministry could review the sale of a 70% stake in national PTO Ghana Telecom (GT) to the UK’s Vodafone Group. MyJoyOnline cites an interview between The Ghanaian Chronicle and Iddrisu in which the minister designate said he was hopeful the government would support the idea. Mr. Iddrisu would have to contact the Presidency for approval before his Ministry could implement such a scheme. Clarifying his intentions, Iddrisu said the purpose of the review was not to cancel the Sale and Purchase Agreement that Vodafone made, but rather to ascertain whether the contract was a genuine one. ‘I am not saying that we are going to take the deal from them but we are going to make sure that Ghanaians get value for their money,’ he stated. Whilst in opposition, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) would not endorse the multi-million Vodafone deal in Parliament, on the grounds that though they were not strictly anti- the sale, the ‘secrecy’ under which government was undertaking the sale process raised suspicion that perhaps some procedures did not conform to the Public Procurement Act.
Ghanaian fixed line and mobile operator Ghana Telecom (GT) has inked a USD120 million contract with China’s Huawei Technologies to upgrade its existing 2G network with 3G technology. The project is expected to take 18 months to complete, at which date GT’s mobile service, which will soon be rebranded to Vodafone Ghana, will be able to offer high speed internet access, multimedia content and videocalling, amongst other advanced features.
Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain yesterday launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology – a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. Reuters reports that Zain sees potential on the continent where it already has 40 million customers. ‘Although penetration is very, very low, we see it as having very huge potential. A lot of people say Africa penetration is almost saturated, but we don’t because we see that we can optimise our business on the continent,’ Chris Gabriel, Chief Executive Officer of Zain Africa said. Zain, which already operates in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa, is looking to become one of the world’s top ten operators by 2011 and has already set its sights on four of five acquisitions in the region which Gabriel says will be closed ‘in the next twelve months’.