MTN Ghana Company is slated to receive $ 148 million US to improve services throughout the country in 2017. This financing support will enable the Ghana Telecom Company to reinforce its leading position in a constantly-improving market.
Through this financing support, the company is planning to reinforce access to broad band internet with the deployment of 197 new 4G (Long Term Evolution – LTE) connection sites in Ghana, thus bringing the total number to 475 internet connection sites in 2017. MTN Ghana is also longing to build respectively 561 and 345 new sites for 3G and 2G connections throughout the country.
This funding, according to the top management, will enable the company to ensure capacity building and reinforce security of the entire Internet network to offer quality services to its customers. “These investment projects will bring an added value to the MTN brand in Ghana,” said Ebenezer Twum Asante at the company’s shareholders forum in late February 2017. “Deploying new 4G sites will contribute to the country’s economic development and boost our customers’ activities,” he added. Part of this funding will be devoted to technology development.
Figures supporting the approach
The company recorded increasing services in 2016. For example: the sale of smartphones increased by 64.4% for 5 million users while electronic money transfer users reached 5.7 million. The revenues also increased by 19.8% and are generally supported by data transfer up 65.7% and accounting for 42% of total revenues. As for digital services, they increased by 48% … According to the top management, “this situation is due to the introduction of new innovations in all the services offered”. And this upward trend for the operator is in line with the flourishing sector, despite tax obstacles some operators call for resolution.
Remove tax to support the market
Despite its flourishing financial situation in 2016, the digital market still faces several challenges. For Mr. Asante, “the obstacles are slowing down the pace of growth” including Internet connection cable cuts, network maintenance cost volatility, reviewing the operating license, and competitive tariff schedules. However, according to the top management, the major challenge remains the stabilization tax. “By withdrawing the stabilization tax which is deducted even before the declaration of corporate profits, this would allow the telecom industry to continue to make a positive contribution to the development of Ghana’s economy,” explained the Managing Director of MTN.
Digital technology boosts the economy
Despite its enviable leadership in mobile telephony in terms of market share – with 46.89%, far ahead of Vodafone, which is second with 21.95% at the end of August 2016 – the company intends to invest more in order to increase performance this year. With respect to the customers, we hope the network modernization projects will have a positive impact on broadband Internet providers’ rates.” We need a good internet connection for our business. It is good to invest billions to improve these services and boost our business. But we hope this will have an impact in the tariff schedule in the coming months,” said John Afful, an economic operator.
More and more subscribers
In 2016, MTN Ghana contributed 1.1 billion tax revenues to the government and to regulatory agencies in the telecoms industry. According to the National Communications Authority (NCA), the telecoms regulator in Ghana, the company’s mobile subscribers have increased from 9,429,065 in July to 9,608,952 in August 2016, far ahead of Vodafone which moved from 3,278,834 to 3,301,319 subscribers over the same period. Ghana has 35,283,957 fixed and mobile phone subscribers, while Internet data subscribers reached 18,031,188 in 2016.