Mobile penetration to hit 80% by end of year

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Roughly 80 percent of Ghanaians will be using be using mobile phones by close of this year, Henry Kanor, Deputy Director Engineering, National Communications Authority, has

disclosed.

“It’s our hope to attain this growth should everything go well,” he added.

He made the disclosure during a public education on electromagnetic fields from telecommunications masts organised by Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) in Accra.

Ghana currently has a mobile penetration rate of 67%, reflecting in about 12 million people owning mobile phone chips. There are five telecom networks operating namely, MIN, Vodafone, Kasapa, Tigo and Zaino The sixth operator Globacom of Nigeria is expected to commence operations soon.

The mobile telecom¬munications company, MTN, has the biggest market share of 52%, Millicom Ghana Limited operators of TIGO has 22%, Vodafone 14%, Zain 8% and Kasapa 2% respectively.

According to Kanor, as mobile phone users grow, more base stations are needed to provide coverage for communications networks, adding that, ”Adequate coverage and capacity are essential to provide Quality of Service (QoS).”

He stated that there would be more demand for cell sites since coverage is a key strategic asset. Currendy, there are 3,091 cell sites around the country. MTN has 1,652 cell sites, Tigo 699, Vodafone 378, Kasapa 112 and Zain 250.

He said that if the new guidelines for deployment of communications towers are passed by parliament there will be one-stop-shop permitting scheme for the deployment of communications towers in the country, and also provide clear standards and procedures for the installation of towers and address the issue of environmental sanity.

He declared that the guidelines will establish clear rules. of engagement of all stakeholders, formulate a framework that is attainable and stable and structured to be cost¬effective and address the concerns of operators.