The digital age we live in has made it essential for us to have access to the Internet. When moving into a new home in a new country, your first priority will always be having internet connectivity. For that matter, we bring you the top internet service providers in Ghana, highlighting their range and quality.
You might also want to take a look at our post about the leading mobile networks in Ghana, if you need to set up your mobile sim card.
MTN Ghana is a household name and one of the most significant players in the Ghanaian telecommunications industry. Actually, it is among the largest mobile network operators in the world, and the largest in Africa. As of December 2022 MTN recorded 289.1 million subscribers.
It was established in South Africa in 1994 under the name M-Cell. Currently it is active in over 20 countries (Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Ivory Coast , Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia).
Out of this list of countries, MTN holds about 35% of its market share in Nigeria, with one third of the company’s revenue coming from there.
Recently, they announced plans to invest $1 billion in a 5G rollout for the country.
- 4G and 3G Services: MTN Ghana provides high-speed 4G and 3G services, ensuring fast and reliable internet connections in both urban and rural areas.
- Extensive Network Coverage: MTN boasts extensive network coverage, making it accessible to a vast majority of Ghanaians.
- Mobile Data: MTN offers various mobile data plans to cater to the diverse data consumption needs of its users.
- Fixed Broadband: They also provide fixed broadband services for homes and businesses, home being the Residential Capped and the business being the Business Unlimited.
Vodafone Ghana is another prominent player in the Ghanaian internet service provider market.
In 2008, they acquired 70% of Ghana Telecom from the government for the value of US$900 million, leaving the Ghanaian government with a 30% stake. This sale raised a few objections, such as from John Atta Mills (served as President in Ghana from 2009-2012), who claimed that the government “did not get value for money”.
In 2009, Ghana Telecom was rebranded as Vodafone Ghana and in 2016 it became the country’s second largest operator with a market share for April 2016 as 21.92% and 25.32% of data.
As of 2019, they announced that they acquired Vodacom Group’s entire stake in Vodacom Business Ghana (VBG) for an undisclosed price. As of this year 2023, Vodafone is officially exiting the Ghanaian market and has completed the sale of its 70% shareholding in Vodafone Ghana to Telecel Group for an undisclosed sum.
As stated by Vodafone CEO Margherita Della Valle, “The sale of Vodafone Ghana to Telecel Group is a further step in simplifying Vodafone’s African portfolio. Since entering the market in 2008, Vodafone has helped to develop Ghana’s critical network infrastructure supporting customers, businesses and communities”.
Vodafone has always struggled to steal market share from rival MTN. According to statistics from Omdia, by the end of 2022 Vodafone was the second biggest mobile operator in the country, with about 7.8 million mobile subscribers or only 17.5% market share. Despite these figures, MTN Ghana remains the most dominant operator with about 29.3 million users or 66% market share.
- Home Broadband: Vodafone Ghana provides fixed broadband services, making it an excellent choice for homes and businesses seeking high-speed internet.
- Mobile Data: Their mobile data plans cater to users with on-the-go data needs. Plans include only data bundles or voice and data bundles. Only data bundle range from GHS 20 for 2.5GB of data to GHS 400 for 190GB.
- Network Quality: Vodafone is known for its network quality, ensuring a stable internet connection for its customers.
One of the first Internet provider companies to bring 4G connectivity to Ghana. Today they have reliable internet access in certain parts of Accra (they do not have internet connectivity outside of Accra).
Surfline is a Ghanaian-owned telecommunications network that was established in 2011 to provide premium quality wireless broadband connectivity to the Ghanaian market. The National Communications Authority (NCA) awarded Surfline a Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) license that same year.
The license terms ensure that Surfline must provide coverage to at least 50% of the country within five years, but Surfline intends to expedite that request to urgently meet the growing data demands of those in rural areas.
They built a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network which was relatively new technology at that time.
What is happening to Surfline 2023?
It was announced in May of this year that Surfline has been forced to close its data center and radio access network (RAN) after a series of financial difficulties. They have experienced a total network downtime but have assured publicly that they are working very hard with all stakeholders to resolve the matter.
According to Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA), Surfline had 35,796 Broadband Wireless Access subscriptions at the end of last year, around a 25.4 percent share of the fixed broadband market in Ghana, with a revenue of $90 million in 2021.
AirtelTigo was launched in 2017 as the result of a merger between Airtel and Tigo, two telecommunications giants. This merger has allowed the company to expand its services and network coverage in Ghana. In April of 2021, the Ghanaian government acquired a 100% stake in the company, transforming it into a state-owned telecom carrier.
Airtel comes from Bharti Airtel (an Indian multinational telecommunications services company based in New Delhi) and Tigo from telecom operator Millicom International Cellular SA (a Luxembourgish fixed line and mobile telecommunications services provider operating in Latin America). The Indian telecom operator owns a 49.95 per cent stake in the joint venture.
As of June 2023, they announced that they changed their brand name to AT, a new simple name which is in tandem with their promise of making life more simple for their customers. As reiterated by Leo Skarlatos, Chief Executive Officer of AirtelTigo, “We believe that this name change will only serve to strengthen our brand identity and represents our dedication to growth and simplicity”.
- Mobile Data: AirtelTigo offers a variety of mobile data plans to suit different user requirements. You can find all the information here.
- Network Expansion: The merger has facilitated network expansion, improving coverage and service quality.
- Competitive Pricing: AirtelTigo is known for its competitive pricing, making it an attractive option for cost-conscious users.
Aspects to take into consideration about Internet in Ghana
Connectivity in Rural areas: While internet in cities such as Accra can be pretty fast, rural areas still experience limited access to the internet due to infrastructure limitations.Please note that if you plan to travel outside of Accra, you may experience limited access so always double check (unless you plan to disconnect completely).
High Data Costs: Please be aware that the cost of data in Ghana can be the same or even higher than in your own country.
Quality of Service: Internet speed sometimes tends to not be very steady, specially on rainy days. Please be aware that your internet connection may not always be 100% speedy.