The heightened competition within the telecommunications sector in the country coupled with the huge investments in infrastructure upgrading by the players in the industry seem to be paying off.
Consequently, Ghana has been ranked first in Africa as the country with the highest Internet speed according to the latest global Internet speed report released early this month.
By implication, fast Internet speed, can improve productivity and create jobs.
According to The Global Information and Communications Technology Department of the World Bank and IFC, for every 10 percentage-point increase in high-speed Internet connections there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.
The Internet Society also points out that the Internet is about sharing. It is successful because it makes all Internet resources available to all users simultaneously. This resource sharing ability is central to the Internet’s utility and success because it enables the interconnection of diverse applications over heterogeneous networking media running at diverse speeds.
High speed Internet allows for growth without central control because everybody shares in the control of the network.
For instance, when one places a phone call one is connected with the other person at the other end and when one is on the Internet, one is connected with everybody else on the Internet at the same time.
The Internet is continuously evolving. Some of the more profound recent changes have been caused by the impact of installation of broadband networks. In the last decade, the number of broadband subscribers worldwide have grown over a hundred times.
Widespread broadband deployment has led to tremendous innovation in Internet applications and huge increases in the average amount of bandwidth consumed per user. The effects of these changes are now being felt around the globe and Ghana is no exception.
Ghana's Ranking In Africa
Ghana is ranked number one and it is followed by Kenya, Angola and Rwanda.
The Ookla Net Index, saw Ghana placing 73rd globally with an average broadband speed of 5.36 millions of bits per second (Mbps).
Lithuania was first in the world with 31.67 Mbps followed by South Korea 30.59 Mbps and Latvia in third position with 27.42 Mbps.
The index listed Ghana Telecom (6.13 Mbps), Zipnet/Broadband Home Limited (2.02 Mbps) and Scancom Limited (1.51 Mbps) as the major Internet service providers (ISPs) in the country.
Ookla is a broadband testing and web-based network diagnostic applications. The company’s software and methodologies set the broadband industry standards for accuracy, popularity, ease of use and the subsequent development of statistical data.
Broadband is a type of technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) to transmit data, at the shores of a country. SAT 3, Glo One, Main One and now West Africa Computer Systems (WACS), laid various broadband cables along the shores of Ghana to enhance the telecommunication network of the country.
One key things the players mentioned in the various statements during ceremonies to outdoor their cables is the ability of the cables to increase the broadband speed and to allow for fast downloading of data among other things, using the Internet.
Reaction By TELECOMS Chamber
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications shares the view that most of our mobile operators have upgraded their 3G networks to deliver greater speed. The detail behind the figures shows vast improvements in the speed of Internet cafes in the country and the subsequent competitive consumer tariffs. All of these have added to the performance of the Internet usage in the country.
According to the Chamber, Ghana’s ranking has been growing over the last two years. Ghana was 157th two years ago. The driver of sustainability is Internet adoption. As more people surf on the Internet at home, at work or on their mobiles, the country will see even further improvement in service and speed, and the industry will move to correspond with this demand.
Most sites and applications require high speed to work effectively, so if mobile operators and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) want to give their customers the best Internet experience; they need to be able to deliver network speed that supports the service.
The Chamber is of the view that broadband today, aside improving productivity and job creation establishes an enabling environment for businesses and the government as a whole.
“As a Chamber, we are proud of this development and considering the global mobile data traffic growth figures, we can envisage a gradual increased data penetration in Ghana for which our members are investing to cater for that demand”, it said.
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