The world has become a global village and massive improvements in communication technologies have taken place in a very short span of time. Ghana is no stranger to that, with many internet service providers operating in the country; however, which would you say is the best mobile network in Ghana? In this article, we’ll focus on the leading mobile networks in Ghana and how they have fared over the years.
Over the years, communicating with people who are distant from where we are is increasingly becoming simpler and faster than the years past.
From the invention of the telephone and subsequently, the internet, communication has never been the same. Ghana is also keeping up with the rest of the world in terms of telecommunications evolution and development. If you’re looking for the best mobile network in Ghana, check them out below.
Leading mobile networks in Ghana
MTN has grown to become the largest telecommunication network in Ghana in terms of market share. They are a subsidiary of a parent company known as Scancom PLC. MTN originated in South Africa and has branches in various African and Asian countries.
Currently, they are the largest telecommunications company in Africa and the 8th largest mobile network operator in the world as of 2020. Founded in 1994, MTN has come a long way and has undergone several name changes and rebranding to reflect its changing strategies and market conditions.
MTN provides voice, data, mobile financial and other digital services to their customers. After they acquired their 4G license, they were required to enlist on the Ghana Stock Exchange and their Initial Public Offering (IPO) was the most successful in Ghana. MTN was the first country to introduce mobile money to Ghana and it has gone ahead to become one of their biggest sources of revenue.
Among other payment methods, MTN mobile money was included as a payment option and that was the first-time mobile money had been used as a payment option in an IPO in Ghana. MTN has made many strategic investments for sustainability and this has put them in a league way above their competitors. In every town or village, there is MTN network coverage.
They came to Ghana to acquire and operate Ghana Telecom and its mobile subsidiary – Onetouch which was a fully government owned enterprise which controlled the supply and provision of telephone services to people in Ghana. They have gone ahead to make several contributions to the telecommunications industry in Ghana.
On 3rd July 2008, Vodafone announced its interest in acquiring 70% of Ghana Telecom from the Ghanaian government at a cost of Us$900 million and a total enterprise value of about US$1.3 billion. This acquisition was formalized in August of the same year.
Today, Vodafone provides voice, data, mobile financial services among others. They also manage telephone services for corporations as well as intranet services. Vodafone has been well known for their corporate social responsibility projects where they provide medical help where they fund the surgeries of people of little means who need the surgeries to save their lives and also improve their quality of life.
This company was formed as a result of a merger between two companies – Bharti Airtel and Millicom International Cellular whose subsidiary companies are Airtel Ghana and TIgo Ghana. The merger was done in the year 2017 as a strategic measure to thrive in the industry. In 2009, a telecommunications network called Zain from Kuwait got themselves into Ghana’s telecom industry with the introduction of a 3.5G network which offered voice and data services.
In June 2010, a merger was concluded between Zain Network and Bharti Airtel which saw the Zain Ghana network being renamed to Airtel. Tigo on the other hand, was the first foreign telecommunications network in Ghana and introduced the mobile phone to Ghana alongside their services.
Tigo Ghana is one of the subsidiaries of Millicom International Cellular SA which is headquartered in Luxembourg. Millicom commenced the operation of a mobile cellular network in 1991 on an Analogue System with the brand name Mobitel. Mobitel offered mainly two services: Prepaid Call plans and Postpaid call plans. In 2003, Mobitel was rebranded as Buzz GSM – to reflect the company’s migration from Analogue to the GSM platform.
In 2006, the brand name was changed to TIGO to reflect the standard brand name across the Millicom group. It was in 2017 that Airtel Ghana and Tigo Ghana decided to join forces in a bid to increase their market share and compete favourably hence joining their separate brand names into one – AirtelTigo.
This however did not seem to go according to plan because by 2021, AirtelTigo had decided to leave the Ghanaian Telecommunications market – they had incurred some debts while trying to keep up with competition. The Government of Ghana came in to buy the company after evaluating their assets and liability hence AirtelTigo is now fully owned and operated by the Government of Ghana.
Glo is a subsidiary of Globacom, a Nigerian start-up which is the second largest telecommunications network in Nigeria. The company received its license to operate in 2009 and they were set to support their mobile division with a high-capacity submarine cable network that would offer fast and reliable internet speeds and connections.
However, Globacom’s entry into the Ghanaian market had been beset with delays despite heavy advertisement and celebrity endorsements. The company on their part made it clear that it has faced several obstacles hindering its entry and participation in the Ghanaian market. They even at a point in time threatened to leave Ghana because they claimed certain “interests” were seemingly hell-bent on sabotaging their nation-wide launch plans.
An unnamed source has reported that Glo has had obstacles in terms of seeking approval for the quick deployment of its base stations, encroachment on the frequencies it was awarded by the National Communication Authority, and outright vandalism of their billboards among other challenges.
Despite their challenges, Glo was able to launch and operate, however, not as good as they had expected. Today, among the telecom giants in Ghana, Glo is the one with the smallest market share.
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