PTelecommunications service provider, Vodafone Ghana yesterday officially launched its Fourth Generation (4G) Long Term Evolution (LTE) service as it seeks to improve on growth and profitability.
With the launch, Vodafone Ghana, with more than 9.8 million voice customers, becomes the second telecommunications company in the country to acquire a 4G license, after MTN Ghana.
Journey so far
Vodafone Ghana which took over from the erstwhile Ghana Telecom a decade ago, made moves last year to a acquire a 4G LTE spectrum license to provide customers “a real 4G experience” to improve the profitability of the company so as to be able to pay dividend to the Ghanaian government which owned 30 per cent shares in the company.
Eventually, the company in January this year expended $30 million to acquire a 4G spectrum license from the National Communication Authority (NCA), which cost the company $30 million and less than three months, it had rolled the service for customers.
Speaking at the launch in Accra, the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the stage was set for stiff competition in the telecommunications industry.
She explained that the launch of the Vodafone 4G service “presented diverse choices for customers,” saying “new technology enhance lives and development.”
The Minister said the government which is a minority shareholder, had met its financial obligation to the company and the launch of the 4G LTE attested to government’s commitment to the growth and profitability.
“The the launch of the Vodafone 4G services marks the consolidation of a partnership government entered with Vodafone ten years ago, which met stiff opposition from a section of the public,” she said, adding that the partnership was anchored on the vision to improve reliability, accessibility and affordability of telecommunications and mobile services.
The Minister encouraged Vodafone Ghana to lead the adoption of a 5G service as the world was currently transitioning from 4G to 5G.
The Director General of NCA, Joe Anokye in his remarks said the demand for better data and voice services was growing and commended Vodafone Ghana for the decision to acquire a 4G license.
He entreated Vodafone not only to concentrate on the cities, but also to deploy the 4G services to all parts of the country to enable customers enjoy better and faster voice and data services.
Mr Anokye advised telecommunication companies to co-locate their infrastructure to be able to reduce cost as well as the cost of data services in the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba, said the acquisition of the 4G license was the biggest investment the company had made and formed part of the strategy to improve telecommunication services to customers.
Ms Cuba disclosed that the balance sheet challenges of the company had been “sorted” and Vodafone Ghana was now better positioned to compete in the telecommunications market.
She said the launch of the new services, among others, would help customers to experience “faster internet speed.”
The Board Chairman of Vodafone Ghana, Dr Kwabena Quansah, said the deployment of the 4G service was in line with the brand proposition of the company which emphasised that the future was very exciting.
“The launch of the 4G service is to ensure that no customer is left behind in this fast changing digital world,” he said.
By Kingsley Asare