[govt of ghana] The President has directed the Ministries of Communications and Environment, Science and Technology to facilitate the launch of Globacom onto the local market and deal with outstanding issues in respect of issuance of environmental permits.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Minister for Communications, Haruna Iddrisu, said “... the President’s desire is to see the launch of Glo to facilitate job creation and deepen competition in the telecommunications sector.”
The Minister indicated that Cabinet has adopted new guidelines and recommended that the implementation of the new guidelines must be fair to all players in the telecommunications industry.
“The challenge is for Glo to deploy its infrastructure and to launch its product on the Ghanaian market as the government has done its part”, Mr Idrrisu stated.
He said, for instance, the spectrum issues had been resolved by the National Communications Authority, adding that Glo was now free to use 800 Megahertz spectrum as the sixth operator in the country.
The Minister said in respect of environmental permits, credible information from the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology and the Environmental Protection
Agency indicates that Glo has been granted almost 600 cell site permits that should be enough to aid the company to launch its services “if it means business”.
The Minister cited an example of one of the telecom companies which has about 700 cell sites and was able to launch its services.
Mr Iddrisu stated that claims of sabotage and frustrations by Glo are absolutely unfounded and that only 302 out of 972 requests for permits were rejected because of environmental and community concerns about the unsuitability of those locations.
According to the Minister, the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology have requested Glo to present fresh applications in respect of the 302 rejected sites.
“The President insists that the process of permits should be open and fair to all existing operators”, Mr Iddrisu stated.
The Minister said there is evidence that Glo has not done enough to complete even the 600 cells sites that have been approved by the authorities and, therefore, cannot blame anybody.
He added that last year efforts were made to migrate the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) from 800 Megahertz to to 450 Megehertz free the spectrum for Glo.
Last year, Glo threatened to withdraw from Ghana amid claims that its infrastructure had been sabotaged, frequencies interfered with and advertising billboards vandalised.
Globacom was issued a license in 2008, creating fears that the company was likely to drive down prices of telecom charges locally as it has been doing in Nigeria.
Globacom also runs mobile operations in Nigeria and Benin and has invested in sub-marine cable Glo-1.
Prior to its launch in Ghana, the company embarked on an aggressive marketing strategy by signing on the Black Stars and some of Ghana’s iconic musicians as well sponsoring the local league.
However, regulatory requirements and spectrum issues have delayed the much anticipated launch on the Ghanaians market.
The President Directs Two Ministries