Deputy Minister for Communication, Victoria Hamah and Mayor of Accra, Alfred Vanderpuije being briefed

Deputy Minister for Communication, Victoria Hamah and Mayor of Accra, Alfred Vanderpuije being briefed

Expresso, telecommunications service provider in Ghana, has launched its African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable in Accra to enhance connectivity and route diversity in internet connection.

The $700 million fibre optic project is expected to connect Ghana with 22 countries to promote internet usage and increase internet penetration in through smart partnerships with local internet service providers.

Ihab Ibrahim Osman, Representative of the ACE Consortium, said the company?s presence in Ghana confirmed that public-private partnerships are the best solutions for fostering growth in Africa.

?Not building such resilience partnership is no longer an option for Africa if we are to strengthen the continent?s competitiveness in a volatile global environment,? he said.

Deputy Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Albert Enninful, said studies have shown that connecting people to the internet brings tremendous benefits thereby making the operation of the new facility in Ghana an opportunity for growth.

He said the arrival of Expresso?s ACE submarine cable with its announced capacity of 5.12 terabyte-per second is welcomed news.

?As these high speed services are deployed, more bandwidth hungry applications such as video on demand, telepresence / teleconferencing, telemedicine and other multimedia services are expected to be used by consumers,? he said.

He said government is committed to the transition by commencing a phase analogy switch-off by June 2015, adding that the authority would in the course of the year commence public consultations on the frequency arrangement and mechanism of award of the digital dividend in preparation for a request for applications by 2015.

?The authority is therefore actively participating in the study group activity which borders on the digital dividend frequencies,? he noted.

Enninful noted that there is serious potential for growth in mobile data and encouraged operators in the industry to invest significantly in mobile broadband technologies in order to build and sustain consumer habits in the use of mobile applications and services.

Freddie Quainoo, Chief Commercial Officer of Expresso, said the entry of ACE would inject dynamism and innovations into the industry.

He described the current internet data penetration as very low, stressing that Ghana has the capacity to enroll additional subscription for route diversity, competitive prices for ISPs, corporate enterprises and other entrepreneurs.

Mobile internet data subscription as at the end of February stood at 8,816,161, representing 34 per cent.

Various competitors in the country are Main One, Glo1 and West African Cable System, all competitors in the industry.

Expresso has been in existence since 1995, operating under the name of Celltel, the second mobile operator in the country at the time.

In 1998, Hutchison Telecom acquired 80 per cent of the company improving the analogue infrastructure that was in place at that time.

The company was rebranded to Kasapa Telecom in 2003 and made a switch from an analogue network to a CDMA network to further strengthen its market position two years later.

Following the network expansion and upgrade in November 2010, the company successfully re-branded to Expresso.

It is now providing unrivalled high-quality voice and data services to customers across various market segments.

 By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri & Cephas Larbi

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