In Ghana: “Let the Telco war begin”
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Ghana’s mobile telephony industry remains one of the most vibrant in the sub-Saharan African region thanks largely to massive investments into the sector which has seen impressive growth since the opening up of the mobile network spectrum some twenty years ago. Indeed, some watchers think the number of mobile phone operators, six, operating in the country is a bit too high for a population of some 24 million. With total subscription numbers of over 29 million however, it can be argued that competition notwithstanding, operators in the sector are generally in robust health.
For the market leader, MTN, aggressive marketing drives coupled with huge investments have seen it adding numbers and protecting its position with an iron fist, literally. MTN holds 45.86 percent of the Ghanaian mobile telephony market which translates into 13,541,961 subscribers. This ‘excessive’ intake seems not to have matched expansions in network capacity, resulting in a series of challenges for the network, lately. Its mobile money service is in some crisis now and figures released by the National Communications Authority show that MTN lost 402,244 subscribers to Mobile Number Portability (MNP) as at the end of June this year, the biggest loser since MNP was rolled out some three years ago. But in view of its recent difficulties, is it fair to say that MTN has come to the end of its reign? This might be an oversimplification of the situation but all indications point to the fact that for the market leader to continue to lead, more investments will have to be injected into its operations.