Graphic Business News

Mobile voice subscription in Ghana soars • MTN maintains market dominance • Glo still trails

By: Charles Benoni Okine

The total mobile voice penetration rate in the country reached 138.88 per cent as at the end of December last year, a report from the National Communications Authority (NCA) has revealed.

This brings the total number of mobile voice subscriptions in the country to 40,934,875 during the same period under review.

Industry giant, MTN, maintained its dominance in the market, having ended the year 2019 with voice subscriptions at 20,092,798. This represents a subscriber base of 49.08 per cent.

Other players
AirtelTigo came second with voice subscriptions at 10,289,491 as at the end of December 2018.
This puts the company’s total market share for the period under review at 25.14 per cent.
Vodafone also closed the year in third place with 9,813,234 subscribers on its mobile voice network. The company’s share of the market, based on the figures, stood at 23.97 per cent at the close of December, last year.
 Glo remained in fourth position with a mobile voice subscriber base of just 739,352 at the end of December 2018.
That represented a total market share of 1.81 per cent in the month under review.
Fixed Telephony
According to the NCA report, there are still two operators providing fixed line services to the public in Ghana. These operators are Vodafone and AirtelTigo.
The report said as of December 2018, the total subscriptions for the fixed operators were 278,379.
Vodafone recorded a total subscription of 271,732, while AirtelTigo ended the month with just 6,647 subscriptions.

Value of growth
The annual growth in subscriber numbers in the country is a testimony to the efforts being made by the players to ensure that many more people access their services.
However, the attendant challenges have to do with the growing crime rate in the system, most of which are perpetrated using unregistered mobile voice SIM cards. For instance, there are threats of death using mobile phones and other criminal plots that go unnoticed.
Other issues have to do with the growing number of call drops, poor network quality, slow call set-up among other challenges that make the experience on the networks unexciting.
It is becoming increasingly clear that some of the telecom companies are refusing to invest more in the mounting of new sites to cover the grey areas in the regional capitals and other remote areas of the country. This is because, they are either being frustrated unduly by the various assemblies which charge unrealistic amounts as ground rent or the telcos have no budget to cover expansion project.
Much as the growth in the subscriber numbers is a positive phenomenon, quality of service must not be compromised and that is where the industry regulator needs to come in to ensure that is reversed by helping the telcos out of their difficulties and not to fine them heavily for breaches in their licence obligation at the expense of customers.