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Business News of Friday, 19 June 2020


The idea of seeing Telcos as cash cows in Ghana has to change – Ken Ashigbey

CEO of Telcom Chamber, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey play videoCEO of Telcom Chamber, Dr Kenneth Ashigbey

CEO of Chamber of Telecommunication, Mr Kenneth Ashgbey has posited that in order for telecommunication companies to effectively contribute to the growth of e-learning in the country, there is the need to ensure the operating environment is cost friendly for the companies.

Speaking on ‘What Next’ with Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong on GTV, Mr Ashigbey said in order for students across the country to have access to internet service regardless of their geographical location, various parties including government and the Telcos must ensure the development of infrastructure within the sector. This he adds, has become hard within the operational policies that the companies have had to operate in Ghana.

“We’ve gotten to a point where as a country the way we see this industry as a cash cow has to change. We need to provide services and infrastructure such that everybody can get access to it (the internet). But that will not happen when typically, in Ghana you sell a 2x10 spectrum at $60 million whilst Tanzania with even a bigger market is selling at $10 million,” he noted.

Answering a question on how two Telco operators in Ghana with operations in Rwanda are able to give free internet access to university students and staff in Rwanda but are unable to replicate same in Ghana, Mr Ashigbey said such a pursuit requires policy and regulatory directions intended to create a cost friendly environment for operators in order to happen.

“The question you would want to ask is how much Telcos in Rwanda purchase spectrum compared to here, what is the cost of operation? Currently as we speak, in Ghana about 40% of every cedi that you pay to the Telcos go back to government in the form of levies and taxes,” he answered.

Suggesting some solutions to the existing situation, Mr Ashigbey said on its part, government needs to ensure that the cost of operating in the industry is as low as possible and also provide incentives whilst guarantying demand for the services of Telcos in the places they operate.