Netsol boosts Internet connectivity in Ghana
One small company is starting a revolution in the Internet sector in Ghana by installing public paid wifi hotspots in communities.
The company, Netsol Ghana Ltd., which was founded in mid-2007, describes itself as an innovative technology company that provides high speed wireless broadband Internet connectivity and computer networking services to companies, residences, educational institutions and the general public.
The company in an ambitious but innovative attempt has so far installed 13 wifi hotspots in some locations in Accra and Tema.
The CEO of Netsol Ghana, Mr. Andrew Amlalo, told ghanabusinessnews.com in an interview, “we hope to have 30 hotspots by the close of the year. We want to bridge the Internet gap and bring the Internet closer to the people.”
The company’s bigger plans however, he told ghanabusinessnews.com, is to increase the hotspots to 128 locations in the not too distant future.
“So far, the public’s response has been great,” he added.
Mr. Amlalo said after working in the ICT industry for eight years, he felt it was time to do something more innovative and that was when he established Netsol Ghana. The company also provides services like facility management, access control system and SMS programming.
Despite the global revolution in Internet connectivity, Internet penetration in Ghana is among the lowest in Africa.
According to the Internet Society, Ghana, as at December 2008, Internet usage in Ghana stood a mere 2.7 per cent as compared to 5.3 per cent in Africa.
And according to statistics, only 1.5 million Ghanaians have access to the Internet.
A 2007 World Bank Report on Internet usage in the world cited Ghana as one of the African countries with the lowest record of Internet patronage, coming behind South Africa, Nigeria, Morocco, Algeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Senegal.
Ghana is also ranked low when it comes to mobile Web usage. The country ranks low among African countries that are using mobile Web – that is browsing the Internet using a mobile phone.
Among the 12 African countries where the technology is used, Ghana lies at the 11th position, according to a global report by Opera which was released Wednesday May 27, 2009.
Netsol Ghana’s efforts in an obviously challenging industry will certainly set the stage to making the Internet more available to most Ghanaians.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi