Dubai-based mobile services provider Expresso Telecom reported at the weekend that it has formally launched services in Ghana, after acquiring the network assets of CDMA operator Kasapa Telecom from Hutchison Telecom of Hong Kong back in November 2008. The sale came as part of a wider move by Hutchison to divest certain CDMA-based businesses and concentrate fully on its subsidiaries operating GSM networks globally. EGH is a holding company in the British Virgin Islands, owned by Expresso Telecom Group in Dubai. The USD75 million sale took the form of the sale of Kuwata Limited, which held the Hutchisons group’s indirect interests in the Ghana business. Expresso also owns Intercellular in Nigeria, as well as new licences in Senegal and Mauritania. The official launch was attended by the Minister for Communications Mr Haruna Iddrisu who noted ‘Ghana’s mobile telecommunication industry has simply exploded and is thriving due to the continuous development of the country, a fast growing customer base and a competitive array of competent providers’. The newly branded cellco is partnering with RLG to offer customers with a wide variety of affordable, high quality mobile phones, fixed-wireless devices, modems and PCs.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Kasapa is the smallest Ghanaian mobile services provider with 205,300 subscribers by 30 June 2010. At the same date market leader GSM operator MTN Ghana had an impressive 8.723 million subscribers, up from 7.219 million a year earlier, a market share of 53.1%, putting it ahead of Millicom Ghana’s Tigo unit which had 3.406 million (2.896 million). UK-based Vodafone Group, which acquired Ghana Telecom and its mobile arm GT-OneTouch in August 2008, claimed 2.719 million subscribers (1.958 million) to its rebranded GSM network, while in the wake of its takeover by Bharti Airtel, Zain Ghana had garnering an impressive 1.375 million subscribers, up from 1.072 million a year earlier.