Ghanaian mobile start-up Glo Mobile has finally been issued with permits by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), meaning it can start the process of mounting its towers ahead of the launch of full-blown operations. Ghana News Agency cites the Director of Environmental Assessment and Auditor of the EPA, Mr Ebenezer Ampah-Sampong, as saying the agency had issued ‘a lot’ of permits to Glo Mobile recently, although he was unsure on which parts of the country the newcomer is initially targeting.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Glo Mobile Ghana is a wholly owned unit of Nigerian privately owned telecoms operator Globacom. On 20 June 2008 Ghana’s regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA), awarded Glo the country’s sixth mobile operating concession, and soon after the start-up announced it had paid the requisite USD50.1 million licence fee. Glo’s licence is composed of 2×15MHz of spectrum in the 1800MHz band and 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band. However, the newcomer needed more than just the licence to start commercial operations; it also required permits from the EPA, Ghana Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), Radiation Protection Board (RPB), Town and Country Planning Department and the District, Municipal and Metropolitan assemblies. Glo Mobile secured all permits, save those from the EPA which claimed the newcomer’s applications were held up due to technical deficits, such as the fact they often lacked the necessary written consent from local residents in areas where the masts are due to be sited. Having received the go-ahead from the EPA though, Glo Mobile says it will announce details of its planned launch shortly.