General News of Wednesday, 22 June 2005
Accra, June 22, GNA - Most Ghanaians would remain "cell phone flashers" rather than callers so long as the prices of cell phones and credit units remained high, Mr Robert N. Palitz, Managing Director of Kasapa Telecom Limited observed on Wednesday. He said flashing did not bring any economic gain to the nation and operators but noted that once they did occupy service providers' networks, they were cost to them.
Speaking at a day's cell telephony workshop organised by Ghana Telecom Training Centre in collaboration with Technology Assessment Project (TAP) of the University of Ghana, Mr Palitz said: "Once flashing is not a complete call, clients cannot pay for it, so the only way is to make the prices of the service affordable."
Experts in cell phone technology would address the more than 200 participants at the conference, which is under the theme: "The Potential of Mobile Telephony in Africa". The participants are being educated on the effective and efficient usage of cell phones and the socio-economic impact of mobile telephony in Ghana.
Mr Palitz said the growing use of cell phone in the country and other parts of the world had come about because of the failure of the fixed line service to offer competitive and affordable prices.
Dr Eva Von Hirsch, Vice President of Telenor Management Department, partners of Ghana Telecom, said the workshop should address the social impact of the cell phone device such as gender behaviour, social mobility and marriage and status behaviour. She said the mobile telephony had in no doubt influenced the development process.
Dr Osei K Darkwa, Principal of Ghana Telecom Training Centre, said research had shown that in the next few years most Ghanaians were more likely to use cell phones than fixed line service due to its easier accessibility and efficiency. "The mobile phone culture has evolved in Ghana and it has become an object of fashion," he said.
Dr Darkwa said there were several issues involving the use of the cell phone such as the behavioural transformation and safety matters but there was little empirical data on the social effects of the service in the country.
Dr Amos Anyimadu, a representative of TAP, called for the creation of a formidable link between the mobile industry and technology development in the country. He said cell phones had come as a practical way of bridging the digital divide in the development process. "Let us form a network of all telephony providers and operators to develop and deepen our research base," Dr Anyimadu said.