The CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Kyle Whitehill, says that over the last two and a half years the company has invested more than GHS50 million (USD26.2 million) to improve its fixed line infrastructure, reports local news portal Myjoyonline. The executive told journalists that four years ago Vodafone inherited a network of old and worn out copper lines serving 250,000 fixed voice customers and just 5,000 broadband subscribers. Since then it has installed more than 150 multi-service access nodes (MSANs), helping to boost its fixed line voice subscriber base to 265,000 and its broadband subscriber base to 79,000, of which Whitehill claims 60% are connected to the new MSANs with speeds of up to 20Mbps. The remaining 40% remain connected to the legacy network, with much lower speeds. The average downlink speed across the company’s entire broadband subscriber base is claimed to be between 4Mbps and 5Mbps. ‘We plan to increase customers on MSANs to about 80% and leave the remaining 20% on copper,’ Whitehill said.
Meanwhile, according to Myjoyonline, some Vodafone broadband customers have complained about the imposition of a 15GB per month download cap, but Whitehill says that 99% of its subscribers use less than 10GB per month, and that it is unfair for the remaining 1% to pay the same price given the impact their high data consumption has on the system. ‘We have moved from a network that had only 5,000 customers to 79,000 in four years, and we have improved speeds from 512kbps to up to 20Mbps. That means we need to manage the system in a way that every customer enjoys [a] great experience on our network, and that is why we introduced the cap,’ he said. Finally, Whitehill stated that he forecasts 300,000 homes in Ghana requiring fixed broadband services in the future, with a large proportion of those being high value customers.