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glo_gBy SEGUN ORUAME, Accra

With a network capacity for over 10 million mobile lines, Glo Mobile Ghana formally
launched commercial service into Ghana’s telecom market of over 21 million
subscribers in April to begin its fight for a share of the extremely fiery market of
about five active operators. The mobile operator won the license to operate in Ghana
in 2008 but suffered several roll-out delays until its eventual April launch.

“The company has rolled out the most modern telecommunications network and is
introducing into the market abundant, superior and attractive value offerings in all
the ten regions of the country from day one, a feat that other telecom operators in
the country could not achieve,” said Chief Operating Officer of Glo Mobile Ghana
George Andah.

Itching for an early market lead, Glo is starting ‘with 85% coverage of Ghana,
providing services in 974 cities and 10,000 villages, in what could potentially tilt
patronage in its favour if Glo effectively capitalizes on its expansive network
coverage to win subscribers to its network in a market where subscribers are allowed
to port numbers and move to other networks with ease.

Glo is already tempting subscribers with some of the juiciest offers the industry
could offer. “For starters, all new customers on Glo would get 20Gp credit free
everyday for the first 100 days they joined Glo; that is about three minutes of call
free on Glo for 100 days just for being a customer,” said Andah whose chief brief in
the next few months will be to bring the market to Glo’s network.

Touted as ‘Good Day Ghana,’ one of Glo’s services will enable “all Glo subscribers
to enjoy mouth-watering offerings such as Free Unconditional 20Gp airtime daily for
100 days; Free Calls From Midnight to 5:00am; Bonus on In-coming Calls; Up to 100%
Bonus on Recharges; and Sweet Number which enables subscribers to call one special
person at 2Gp per minute.”

The operator appears to be kiting itself for a massive onslaught for market share.
At Globacom’s headquarters in Lagos, days after the Ghana’s launch, Glo unveiled the
UniWorld roaming services covering Nigeria, Ghana, and Benin republics. The UniWorld
offers all Glo subscribers uniform local rates while calling across state borders
and allows users to easily recharge their phones with local top-up cards. The new
service matches those of MTN and Airtel, which One Network service has allowed
subscribers to keep the talk going at local rates even while roaming. At
“UniWorld unifies the 3 Glo network countries by creating a Virtual Home Environment
which allows seamless communications at transparent affordable rates across the
borders. Subscribers who roam across the three countries will be charged the same
uniform localized rate irrespective of where they are calling from. Customer’s bills
will be rated in Naira, Cedi or CFA depending on subscriber’s Glo home country,”
said Executive Director, Adewale Sangowawa
For Glo Ghana, there are tough months ahead. Winning market favour will not come
easy. Other players already have an established presence that would take more than a
walk through to erase. According to the National Communications Authority, Ghana’s
telecom regulator, the total cellular/mobile Voice subscriber base in Ghana as at
February, 2012 is 21,381,137. “MTN maintained its position as the market leader with
the subscriber base of 10,323,334 representing 48% of the total market share. This
is followed by Vodafone with a subscriber base of 4,366,536 representing 21% of the
total market share. Tigo indicated a 1% decrease in its subscriber base of
3,693,999. This represents 17% of the total market share. Airtel has a 2,813,598
subscriber base representing 13% of the total market share. nExpresso has the least
subscriber base of 183,670 representing 1% of the total market share.

But in terms of actual figures of “active subscribers, Tigo has 3.5 million
subscribers, MTN has almost 8.3 million subscribers, Airtel has almost two million,
Expresso has almost 170,000 and Vodafone has about 2.5 million”
So who would Glo Mobile Ghana first displace? The months ahead and market dynamics
will tell. Glo already has a reputation for starting from behind to gain strong and
fast in the market. It entered the market as a late entrant in Nigeria and Benin but
has gained strong foothold in both markets. In Nigeria, it is second only after MTN
having effectively displaced Airtel, Nigeria’s first mobile operator. Africa’s
biggest mobile market Nigeria has over 94 million mobile subscribers as at February
2012 according to the Nigeria Communications Commission. MTN leads with over 42
million subscribers followed by Glo Mobile which has in excess of 30 million
subscribers to give Glo Mobile a strong market reference to leverage on as it forage
into other African markets.
Besides, Glo operations in Ghana, Nigeria and Benin are bound to be boosted by its
Glo 1 international submarine cable, with landings in several West African
countries. With a $2 billion (over N300 billion) five-year term initial investment
for network rollout, Glo Mobile should raise the stake in Ghana’s burgeoning telecom
market.

 

 

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