Ghana News Agency quotes Vodafone Ghana’s head of corporate communications, Major Albert Don-Chebe, as saying the telco plans to reduce the number of national exchanges on its fixed line network from 48 to just two. The move forms part of the operator’s ongoing restructuring following its takeover by Vodafone and reflects a trend towards increased uptake of wireless communications. ‘In this era of mobile telephony we still have as many as 48 exchanges across the country, most of which are no more needed but we are still running them at huge cost,’ Don-Chebe said.
When Vodafone assumed control of the Accra-based firm it inherited around 4,300 staff whose job was to route traffic manually in the exchanges, or to carry out other jobs deemed as increasingly redundant in the modern telecoms age. ‘This is one of the reasons we kept making losses for a long time whiles competition was making huge profits’, he said. Major Don-Chebe added: ‘We made a loss of USD264 million last year and we are expecting to make another loss this year, but that will be the end of losses for this company – beginning from next year we expect to start making profit and to become productive’. Over the past five months Vodafone has gained an additional 900,000 subscribers, raising its overall subscriber base to 2.5 million. Vodafone has also announced a reduction in the installation charge of its fixed broadband service from GHC90 to GHC55, in a bid to cut the initial upfront cost for new broadband customers significantly.