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Vodafone Ghana considered selling fixed line part of business – Report

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Vodafone Ghana is reported to have at a point considered selling the fixed line part of its business.

According to a report by South Africa based ITWeb news an official of Vodafone Ghana said the company had considered selling the fixed network part of its business, but did not say to whom.

But the official cited in the story, Eric Valentine, who is Head of Networks at Vodafone Ghana has told ghanabusinessnews.com on the phone that he never said that.

The report however indicated that he said that after the Next Generation Telecoms  (NGT) Summit in Nairobi in January 2011. “The advent of mobile technology has meant that investment in fixed technology has been greatly reduced,” he was quoted as saying in the report.

The conference was organized by a UK based company GDS International. The next NGT Africa Summit is scheduled for September 13 to 15 in Cape Town South Africa, GDS International says.

When ghanabusinessnews.com called the Editor-in-Chief of ITWeb, Ranka Jovanovic to seek clarification on the matter and to determine whether the Vodafone Ghana official said what was attributed to him, she said the report was from a press release issued by GDS International and asked that we send an email so she would link us up with someone in that company for a response.

We however called GDS International, and were told the right person to comment on the issue was unavailable and we should expect a call from the relevant official, and we gave out our phone contact but we are yet to receive a call from the company.

According to the report, at the Nairobi summit, hosted by GDS International, around 100 C-level participants looked at a range of topics, including the future of the fixed network in the continent.

The attendees concurred that the fixed network has the significant economic advantage to converging the mobile and fixed architecture, it said.

Speaking after the event, Eric Valentine, head of networks Vodafone Ghana, said a major stumbling block, however, is that some markets have too many operators, the report said.

“For example, Ghana has around five active operators, including MTN, Tigo, Vodafone, Kasapa and Airtel. The benefits of a fixed-line network can be diluted by too many operators,” he was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, fixed line market share in Ghana has been falling drastically as compared to mobile telephony. The National Communications Authority (NCA) report for December 2010 says market share for fixed line networks in Ghana is only 1.6% for the entire population of about 23 million as against mobile telephony’s 98.4%.

And there are a total of 277,897 fixed lines fixed lines in the country as at December 2010, which is  -13.5% of November’s total of 321,349.

There are only two providers of fixed lines in Ghana. They are Vodafone Ghana and Airtel.

 

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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