Glo Mobile Ghana has shifted its launch date several times. This is due to a myriad of challenges facing the telecom company with rolling-out its network in Ghana having been licensed to operate a cellular network a few years ago. Things appear to have got worse over the months and Glo Mobile is now seriously considering leaving Ghana altogether, even before it has launched its network commercially.
The front page of Ghana’s leading newspaper Daily Graphic, today offers a deep insight into the woes of Glo Mobile in Ghana:
Major telecommunications operator, Glo Mobile, intends to pull out of Ghana, an authoritative source close to the company has disclosed.
The Daily Graphic gathered over the weekend that the telecommunications giant had decided to divest its investment in the country and exit Ghana as it faced several challenges from some interests bent on sabotaging the company’s nation-wide take-off plan.
A source close to the company disclosed that some of the challenges the company had faced since it was awarded a GSM licence by the National Communications Authority (NCA) included an encroachment on the frequency allocated to it by the NCA, the repeated sabotage of its billboards and the delay in securing approval for the swift deployment of its infrastructure, such as base stations.
It said officials of the company were concerned that while the company had been working at a frenetic pace to formally roll out the network, some forces had been deliberately working around the clock to cripple its operation and prevent it from rolling out quickly, to the detriment of the Ghanaian society.
Another source close to the company said the operator’s management felt that its infrastructure in the country was not getting adequate protection from the law enforcement agencies.
Efforts to get the official reaction from the company to the development proved abortive, but it was gathered that the company would soon serve the government with its notice to quit.
The source, which was privy to the outcome of a recent meeting held by senior management staff of the company on the issues, said Glo was displeased with the various acts of vandalism and would be relieved if the law enforcement agencies apprehended the perpetrators and exposed them.
When contacted, a senior official of Glo Mobile Ghana, Mr Derek Obuobi, said he would not comment on the matter now.
Glo Mobile Ghana recently embarked on a massive deployment of outdoor advertising structures, comprising billboards, light boxes, lamp post signs and brand marks (branded lit globes), throughout Accra as part of the build-up towards the nation-wide launch of its operations in Ghana.
However, immediately after the deployment of the outdoor advertising materials, which generated a lot of positive remarks, a number of the structures were vandalised by unknown persons.
In February, about 15 light boxes mounted from the Airport Traffic Light median to the Opeibea House Traffic Light were destroyed with the flexi materials used on both sides of the units torn. One of the Glo brand marks mounted in Accra was also destroyed.
About two weeks ago, about 16 light boxes installed by Glo from the King Tackie Tawiah Overpass to Busy Internet were also vandalised.
“Every single unit, with materials made from top grade flexi was defaced with a sharp object, suspected to be a knife or a razor blade,” the source said.
“It was curious that light boxes belonging to another telecom operator deployed within the same stretch continuing from Busy Internet to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were left unscathed,” it said.
In December last year, some people were apprehended and handed to the police while they were attempting to sabotage a Glo mast located at the Baatsona area of Accra.
“It is clear that these acts of lawlessness are being perpetrated to frustrate Glo’s roll-out plans,” the source said.
Another major area of concern for Glo is the ban on the erection of telecom masts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The development is said to have affected Glo the most, it being the only network building a nationwide telecoms company from scratch.
“Glo is losing the opportunity to make revenue, for every day there is a delay in launching its network. I believe that is why it is worried,” the source said.
Since Glo was granted a licence to operate in Ghana, it has invested huge resources to deploy a nationwide state-of-the-art infrastructure. It has also devoted millions of dollars to the sponsorship of the Ghana Premier League., the national football teams, and the Ghana National Supporters Union.
An investment expert who preferred anonymity said it would be a major setback to the efforts of the government to attract foreign direct investment, generate employment and stimulate economic growth should Glo pull out of Ghana. He urged the government to intervene on the issue.
At the recent presentation of cheques by Glo to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for the impressive performance of the Black Stars at the last edition of the African Cup of Nations, the Minister of Communications gave the assurance that the government would give Glo all the support it required to enable it to roll out its services.
Two leading telecom brands have launched in Ghana over the past two years: Vodafone and Zain. None of them experienced this amount of sabotage and were able to launch their brand/services within their scheduled time frame. I am compelled to wonder if this is xenophobic or if those who would be adversely affected (competitors) are behind these extensive sabotage. I am waiting to see what action the Government of Ghana would take to protect the heavy investment of Glo Mobile.
There couldn’t be a better way to address Globacom Ltd at this time than a comment left on this blog by Yeboah-Twum Kenneth:
i read in the Daily Graphic that Glo Ghana to quit. infact i was vexed cos i don’t understand why anyone will try to sabotage u. u better find a way to let the government apprehend them. please don’t leave Ghana. we love u for u effort. it is due to ur one start nationwide coverage that’s why people are trying to to bring you down but have a little faith as Kenny Rogers said. you will be the best telecommunication network in Ghana i promise you