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MTN, Vodafone, Airtel win laurels at maiden Telecom Awards

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The first ever telecom industry awards, dubbed “Mobile World Ghana Telecom Awards” was pulled off successfully in Accra with MTN and Airtel emerging as top winners with three awards each.

Vodafone was closely on the heels of the two with two awards including the Telecom Brand of the Year, which the Head of Corporate Communications at Vodafone Ghana Carmen Bruce-Annan thinks was the most prestigious award.

The event was organized by Mobile World Magazine, a London-based publication.

It was a small event in terms of the size of the attendance but big in terms of the quality of representation from all the telecom operators, mobile phone companies, vendors, telecom infrastructure companies, mobile content designers and providers, regulators, policy makers, industry financiers, civil society, software companies and multilateral organizations.

Group Publisher and CEO of Mobileworld Magazine, Akin Naphtal told journalists they were happy to have been able to pull off the first awards programme with all the players represented, adding that “this is just the first one and we trust that the subsequent ones will even be bigger.”

There were 14 competitive awards and two honorary awards in all.

Market leader MTN Ghana emerged as the Telecom Operator of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Company of the Year and the Mobile Money Service of the Year.

Airtel also took three awards, comprising the Marketing Campaign of the Year, for their rebranding from Zain to Airtel, Customer Care Company of the Year, and the Chief Executive Officer of the Year, Mr. Philip Sowah.

Vodafone Emerged Telecom Brand of the Year and Wholesale Company of the year.

Mobile phone Company of the Year was Samsung, Vendor of the Year was Ericsson, Telecom Infrastructure Company of the Year was Helios Towers, and Best Telecom Financing Bank was Stanchart.

Mobile Content Ghana emerged the Mobile Content Company of the Year and Essoko won the Innovative Mobile Project of the Year.

Minister of Communications Haruna Iddrisu was presented with the Mobile World Life Time Achiever Award, whiles Mrs. Dorothy Gordon of the Kofi Annan ICT Centre of Excellence was also presented with the Special Recognition for Service to Telecom Industry Award.

Acting Corporate Services Executive of MTN, Georgina Asare-Fiagbenu told journalists MTN was excited about emerging the operator of the year but they are particularly excited about the CSR award because it was testimony to MTN’s passion about giving back to the community.

MTN Foundation’s CSR projects have won several laurels over the past two years.

“We would have wished for more awards but to be recognized as the obvious best operator and CSR company shows we are doing something right – this will spur us on to continue to deliver quality service and also to give more to the community,” Mrs. Asare-Fiagbenu said.

Airtel Ghana boss, Philip Sowah who emerged CEO of the Year attributed his award to team work at Airtel, but was quick to say the award puts responsibility on him and his team to deliver better services and value propositions to customers.

“At Airtel, we love to win not just awards but on all fronts – including value for customers, quality of service, giving back to our community and all other areas – and we are passionate about seeing the entire industry do well in Ghana,” he said.

On the issue of conflicting brand colours between Airtel and Vodafone, he said the brand value went beyond colours and he was confident that the Airtel brand stood out and would continue to stand out on the back of its value propositions.

Head of Corporate Communication, Vodafone Ghana, Carmen Bruce Annan said winning the Telecom Brand of the year was most fulfilling because brand was everything.

“For every company your brand is the most valuable asset you have so emerging as the Telecom Brand of the Year for us is most prestigious and fulfilling,” she said.

She said Vodafone Ghana was not surprised with emerging the brand of the year because the Vodafone Group is currently the 5th Best Brand in the world.

“It only shows we are doing something right and we will continue to do more to deliver the best value to our customers, which has been our promise from day one,” she said.

Carmen Bruce-Annan said Vodafone did not feel threatened by the influx of the various fibre optic cables such as Main One, Glo One and very soon WACS into the country because Vodafone was well positioned to deliver value on both telephony and broadband.

By Samuel Dowuona

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