“Let me assure Globacom that government is doing everything within its reach to allow for your major launch to coincide with our Independence celebration,” Mr. Haruna Iddrisu said.
The minister was speaking during a ceremony at which Globacom presented a cheque of $250,000 to the national football team, the Black Stars.
He said he had personally ordered the National Communications Authority (NCA), the National Bureau of Communications and ZTE Corporation of China to allow the 800 spectrum which will be used by Globacom to be free for the mobile provider’s use within 14 days.
But a source close to Globacom has denied that the company was planning to start operations in March. He however, told ghanabusinessnews.com over the phone that the company was planning to launch its services this year.
Globacom is one of the six mobile phone companies licensed to operate in Ghana.
In August 2009, ghanabusinessnews.com broke the news that Globacom was laying fibre optic cables in Ghana for its broadband service.
Globacom 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 Globacom to begin building its cell sites.
When the company was issued its license to begin operations in Ghana, Globacom’s management announced the establishment of its Glo-1 Submarine cable to be laid through Europe, Accra to Nigeria.
The other mobile phone companies operating in Ghana are MTN, Tigo, Vodafone, Kasapa and Zain. MTN has the biggest market.
According to data from the NCA there are 15,108,916 mobile phone subscribers in Ghana as at the end of December 2009, and about 7.5 million subscribe to MTN, according to sources within the company. Ghana has a population of about 22 million.
Meanwhile, a report by a research company, Companies and Markets published in August 2009 has described Ghana’s mobile telephony industry as one of the largest in West Africa.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi