Telecel Ghana in full operations — NCA clears misconceptions
The Vodafone headoffice soon to be rebranded to Telecel

Telecel Ghana in full operations — NCA clears misconceptions

Telecel Ghana has formally taken over the operations of Vodafone Ghana, a Senior official of the National Communications Authority has revealed.

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“Telecel has fully taken over in terms of acquiring the majority shares, 70 per cent from Vodafone Group in Vodafone Ghana,” the industry regulator, National Communications Authority has confirmed.

The Director-General (DG) of NCA, Joe Anokye, said Telecel had assumed a majority shareholder status, adding that the Government of Ghana(GoG) through the State Interests and Governance Authority (SIGA) was also a minority shareholder with 30 per cent.

Meanwhile, Telecel Ghana, he said, would still operate under the Vodafone brand name for about a year or more until it was ready to change to its new identity.

The NCA DG was speaking to the Graphic Business in an interview in reaction to suggestions by some members of the public that the deal had fallen apart and Vodafone Ghana was still in operation under its previous ownership.

“I think per the arrangement with Vodafone, they have up to a year or a year and a half to maintain the name. I'm sure at some point, they will transition to Telecel because you can't just come in with a new identity within a few weeks,” he said. 

Mr Anokye was optimistic that Telecel Ghana would be able to live up to expectations to make the telecommunications industry more competitive.

SMP operational

The company comes at a time when the industry market leader, MTN Ghana, has been declared Significant Market Power (SMP) as part of measures to enable a more efficient level playing field for the industry players.

In the last two years, the declaration of MTN Ghana as an SMP has resulted in an asymmetric savings of GHS86.6 million for the smaller Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

The SMP was meant, among many other things, to set a level playing field and limit the ability of the company to manipulate its tariffs, control its profit margin and possibly its ability to increase obstacles to potential new entrants or smaller players in the market.

The savings made by the non-SMP players in the industry saw the second biggest telco in the country, Vodafone Ghana, now Telecel, raking in GH¢50.4 million, representing 58 per cent.

The third biggest player in the industry, AirtelTigo, saved GH¢34.8 million, representing 40 per cent while Glo Ghana had ¢1.6 million; two per cent of the total savings.

The asymmetric interconnection revenue savings per non-SMP was between October 2020 and December 2022.

Analysts believe that the status of MTN Ghana in the market today will give the new entrants leverage to be able to catch up but not overtake the market leader.

Industry statistics

There are interesting developments within the sector as far as mobile voice subscriptions in the country are concerned.

Pre-SMP, MTN Ghana, as at the end of December 2019, had a market share of 55 per cent of the mobile voice market, Vodafone Ghana controlled 22 per cent while AirtelTigo and Glo Ghana controlled 21 per cent and two per cent respectively.

As of the end of February, this year, post-SMP, MTN Ghana was controlling 67 per cent of the mobile voice market while Vodafone dropped to 18 per cent.

AirtelTigo also dipped to 15 per cent with Glo lost in the fray, according to figures from the NCA.

Riding on data

The Graphic Business has picked information from industry sources that Telecel was positioning itself to offer the best quality and fastest data speeds in the country.

On the company’s home page, it has spelt out that message clearly, saying: “Get ready for more potential, more opportunity and more of everything you expect from the internet provider”.

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It is obvious that should the company be able to live up to expectations, it will make significant inroads into the sector.

But as to whether it can overtake MTN Ghana, which continues to innovate and plough back profits into its operations as part of measures to stay ahead of the competition, needs time to prove.

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