Vodafone in talks for Ghana stake; WESTEL to re-brand as Zain, launch 3G

13 May 2008

UK-based Vodafone Group is reported to be holding talks with the Ghanaian government about acquiring a majority stake in the country’s leading telecoms group Ghana Telecom (GT) as the mobile giant looks to increase its presence on the African continent. The development follows in the wake of Vodafone’s decision not to pursue a possible multi-billion bid for South Africa’s MTN Group. Vodafone chief executive Arun Sarin in understood to be considering his company’s future investments opportunities on a country-by-country basis, and Ghana could possibly be next.

In a separate story, Zain’s Philip Sowah has told Rancard Mobility that Zain intends to re-brand WESTEL Ghana and re-launch as Zain in the third quarter of this year. He did not provide specifics but did say that the rebranding exercise would be carried out over the summer and that Zain was also considering plans to roll out EDGE and/or 3G services. Sowah said: ‘We’re expecting to have a substantial proportion of the country covered and we will not have the levels of congestion of our competitors. We’re both building in significant capacity to offer higher service levels and for a higher level of customers.’ On 14 December 2007 the Ghanaian government finally completed the agreement to allow Zain’s Celtel International unit to take control of WESTEL.

Ghana, AirtelTigo, Vodafone Ghana, Vodafone Group, Zain Group