Globacom, the sixth company licensed to provide mobile telephony in Ghana has began digging the ground in Ghana to lay underground cables for its broadband service, according to information reaching ghanabusinessnews.com.
The other companies operating in Ghana are MTN, Vodafone Ghana, Tigo, Kasapa and Zain.
Glo received the license to operate in Ghana in June 2008 from the National Communications Authority (NCA) in Accra. But regulatory and permit challenges have slowed it from setting up its base stations to begin operations. Ghana’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently granted it license to that effect, paving the way for Glo to begin building its cells sites.
When the company was issued its license to begin operations in Ghana, Glo’s management announced the establishment of its Glo-1 Submarine cable to be laid through Europe, Accra to Nigeria.
In the last few weeks workmen have been seen digging trenches in parts of Accra and laying the cables which have been laid in the United Kingdom through Portugal and has now reached Ghana.
But there is anxiety in Nigeria over when Glo will lay the cables in Nigeria. Originally, the company promised to make it operational in West Africa’s most populous nation early in 2009, but the launch date according to information available to ghanabusinessnews.com, has already been shifted twice from March to May and now rescheduled for November.
Observers of the mobile telephony industry in Ghana are hopeful that when Glo’s services become operational in Ghana, the country’s already vibrant telecommunication sector would see keener competition and probably improved services.
A report by Companies and Markets, a research company, has described Ghana’s mobile telephony industry as one of the largest in West Africa with over 11 million of the country’s 22 million population using mobile phones. Only one out of 40 Ghanaians has a fixed line. Internet penetration too is very low. Available data shows that Internet usage in Ghana is a mere 2.7 per cent as compared to 5.3 per cent in Africa.
The statistics also indicate that less than two million Ghanaians have access to the Internet.
The Glo-1 Submarine cable is however, expected to increase Internet accessibility and speed in the country when it becomes operational.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi