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Can GLO Survive The Heat?   
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Glo Mobile Ghana Limited on January 19, 2012, launched what its described as the “Reserve Your Number” campaign. According to the company, the move forms part of activities to introduce its mobile network onto the local market.

At the function which was held on a very low key, a deviation from the usual loud approach used by the company, Glo Mobile indicated that it has already deployed the latest broadband technology, next generation networks, more than 1,600 state-of-the-art base transceiver stations (BTS), four ultra-modern switches with capacity for up to 10 million lines with congestion-free service, 18 base switch centres, 800 3G Node Bs, among others, throughout the country to take off smoothly.

The facilities, the company said would be complemented by the high-capacity Glo One submarine fiber-optic cable that connects Ghana directly to Europe, with an extension to the USA, and a 2,900-kilometre-long network of terrestrial fiber optic ring within Ghana.

The Chief Operating Officer of Glo Mobile, Mr George Andah, who addressed the press launch of the “Reserve Your Number” campaign, was quoted as saying that, “With such a formidable foundation, we wish to assure the people of Ghana about the quality and reliability of our network.”

Glo is coming in at a time when the mobile market is heavily saturated. All the key mobile phone companies have embarked on ambitious promotion campaigns to beat one service provider or the other.

The Mobile Market.

Telecom analysts say, the mobile market has almost reached its maturity stage and the statistics from the NCA can easily attest to that.

As at the end of December last year, there were about 21,165,843 subscribers in the country out of a population of 24,920,859. This represents a total mobile penetration of 84.9 per cent from a total market share for mobile at 98.7 per cent.

Of the total mobile subscribers, MTN, maintained its position as the market leader with 10,156,112, representing 47.35 per cent. tiGO, which occupied the second spot as of September last year was beaten to the position by Vodafone which closed the year with 4,275,521 subscribers, representing 19.93 per cent with tiGO now in third place with 3,921,754, representing 18.28 per cent.

Airtel maintained its position at the fourth spot with 2,625,705 subscribers (2.24 per cent) while Expresso’s situation continued to worsen with only 186,751, representing 0.87 per cent.

It is not clear what strategy Glo intends to use although it is preparing the minds of Ghanaians about the infrastructure it has put in place to ensure that it delivers quality service.

But at a time when the confidence of the public had gone because of the numerous postponement of the launching date since the last three years, it is not clear whether the Ghanaians would be excited to join the Glo net work

Again, the company which originates from Nigeria has not been able to overtake MTN in Nigeria. But with a fair playing ground and a vibrant regulator, Ghanaians can only wait and see what Glo has to offer.

On the “Reserve your number” campaign, Mr Andah said Ghanaians could from today reserve their preferred numbers beginning with 0233 on the Glo network by sending an SMS from any existing network to 0230010100.

“The reservations will be limited to only one million requests and shall be conducted on a first-request-first-served basis. In accordance with National Communications Authority (NCA) guidelines on number registration, no single individual subscriber shall be permitted to reserve more than five Glo Mobile numbers and the numbers will be activated upon the commencement of commercial operations,” he added.

The strategy

The strategy adopted by Glo is to offer the public and those already hooked to other networks the opportunity to, somehow maintain their numbers but only have their first three digits change.

This strategy was the same adopted by Airtel with the intention of attracting more subscribers to its fold. However, since then, Airtel has been struggling to beat any other major giant in the industry apart from Expresso which has since its inception not had more than 300,000 subscribers.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP) which was introduced in June last year was among others things, meant to heighten competition in the sector and also to allow people to move from one network to the other without losing their original numbers.

Within the first few months of the implementation of the MNP, many were those who tried it and it could be reported from the market statistics as which of the telecom companies was gaining but this trend changed after a few months to end the year.

The phenomenon then raises questions about whether Glo make any meaningful inroads with the introduction of its strategy which is not new to subscribers in the country.
Source: Daily Graphic/Ghana

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