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4G/5G

Telecel Group adds 300 new 4G sites in Ghana

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Telecel Group, the majority shareholder of Vodafone Ghana, has expanded the operator's network infrastructure by adding 300 new 4G sites.

The company said most of the 4G sites have now been activated across various regions in the West African country.

The expansion announcement comes after Telecel's investment into Vodafone Ghana and highlights its expansion strategy following its entry into the market.

"Telecel is fully committed not only to maintaining but also to substantially improving the quality of the network it has acquired," the group said in a statement.

Vodafone officially exited Ghana in February 2023, when it sold its 70% shareholding in Vodafone Ghana to Telecel Group for an undisclosed sum, but Telecel kept the Vodafone brand name for local operations.

The government of Ghana retains the remaining 30% shareholding in Vodafone Ghana's local holding company, Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (GTCL).

Telecel cementing grip on Ghana

Telecel said it was fully committed not only to maintaining, but also substantially improving, the quality of the network it had acquired.

"This accomplishment is not a one-off event but rather a pivotal part of Telecel's broader strategic plan for sustained expansion across the nation," stated Telecel Group COO Malek Atrissi.

"Additionally, we are thrilled to introduce 4G+ to our customers, offering them even faster speeds," Atrissi continued.

Telecel said most of the 300 new 4G sites have now been activated across various regions in Ghana.   ( Source: Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik)
Telecel said most of the 300 new 4G sites have now been activated across various regions in Ghana.
( Source: Image by ASphotofamily on Freepik)

"Our combined vision is to continuously seek and seize opportunities that enrich the digital experience for Ghanaians," added Vodafone Ghana CEO Patricia Obo-Nai.

4G growth in Ghana is important with only about 15% of mobile users in the country using 4G at the end of June 2023, while 71% of users are on 3G. That's according to statistics from market research company Omdia, a sister company of Connecting Africa.

Vodafone Ghana only had about 4.6% of its mobile users on 4G in June, while over 80% were using 3G and the remaining 15% were still on 2G technology.

In comparison, MTN Ghana had around 21% of its users on 4G while smaller operators Airtel Tigo and Glo Mobile didn't have any 4G subscribers.

Tackling MTN dominance in Ghana

Omdia data shows that MTN Ghana is the most dominant operator in the country, with 27.3 million mobile users or almost 67.5% market share at the end of the second quarter of 2023.

Vodafone was the second biggest mobile operator with about 18.5% market share; Airtel Tigo was in third with 13.2% market share; leaving Glo Mobile with only 0.8% market share.

MTN's dominance got it into hot water back in 2020 when the National Communications Authority (NCA) classified it as a "Dominant/Significant Market Power" and implemented a set of policies to reduce its dominance in the telecoms market.

Initially, the telco tried to fight the matter in court, but later withdrew the court case, choosing to focus instead on finding an amicable resolution with the regulator.

In July 2023, the NCA introduced technology neutrality to tackle non-Significant Market Power (SMP) concerns in the telco industry.

Technology neutrality enables operators who did not have 4G services to deploy it within their current spectrum assignment to help level the playing field and enhance their competitiveness.

Telecel Group thanked Ghana's Communications Ministry and the regulator for their support in the 4G expansion project.

"Their dedication and assistance were essential in making such advancements possible, furthering our collective vision of a digitally connected Ghana," Telecel Group said.

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*Top image source: Image by evening_tao on Freepik.

Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

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