Information & Communication Technology: A Competitive Industry Full of Opportunities

African Business, January 2013 | Go to article overview

Information & Communication Technology: A Competitive Industry Full of Opportunities


The Information & Communication Technology sector in Ghana is one of the most competitive in Africa. Home to six telecom operators and several others providing internet and broadband services, the sector is testament to the wisdom of the liberalisation policy embarked on by the country in the first half of the 1990s.

The sector is broadly overseen by the National Communications Authority which operates under the Ministry of Communications. Regulations are investor-friendly and both bodies adopt a broadly consultative approach to policy making and enforcement. Telecom operators are also represented by the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications which is robust and vigorous in its advocacy.

There is a growing infrastructure base that includes licensed gateway operators, SAT-3 Access, Private Licensed VSAT Systems, Fixed Wired Line Networks, Wireless Mobile Operators, Public telephones systems, Telecentres, Dedicated Transmission Networks, Public Distribution Networks (cable, TV, DSL, etc), Internet Service Providers, Internet Backbone Connectivity throughout the Country and Public Access Point and Broadcasting Systems, supporting the expanding industry.

Technology uptake is very enthusiastic, especially among the growing middle-class who consume both software and hardware products in a manner comparable with their counterparts in the West.

Overall, access to ICT is expanding at an impressive speed, with mobile penetration being particularly aggressive. Though at 2,000,000, the number of internet users may be on the lower side, it represents a 50-fold increase on the number of users just a decade ago with the rate of increase set to get even greater.

Indeed, Ghana has been recognised as an attractive destination for Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) and was ranked the No. 1 destination in sub-Saharan Africa (ahead of Senegal and South Africa) and No. 27 globally out of 50 countries by the A.T. Kearney Global Services Location Index (GSLI), 2011.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

THE MARKET

MARKET CATEGORIES

Category                   Authorised  Operating

National fixed network              2          2
operators

National mobile cellular            6          6
operators

Direct to Home (DTH)                3          3
Satellite Services

Internet Service Data             167         92
Providers

VSAT Data Operators               128        114

FM Stations

Public                             41         41

Community                          35         25

Campus                             11          9

Commercial                        155        133

TV Operators

Free on air TV Operators           20         10

Pay per view TV Operators           7          7

Authorised for research             1          0
purposes

Ghana currently has 6 registered mobile operators--MTN (which has dominant market share), Vodafone Mobile, Tigo, Expresso and Airtel Mobile and Glo, which was the last to launch its operations in May 2012.

The market continues to grow aggressively in all segments, particularly in the telephony space. The enabling environment provided by Government continues to promote competition. …

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Information & Communication Technology: A Competitive Industry Full of Opportunities
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