MTN Drives Data Penetration

MTN, the country�s biggest telecom company has strategised to drive Internet and data penetration in the country at a faster rate. Consequently, the company has deployed 21 megabyte per second (MBPS) data services to enhance customer experience and test what it described as its �next-generation of ultra-high speed connectivity of 42 MBPS�. The Managing Director of the company, Mr Serame Taukobong, announced this at the launch of the MTN Internet Festival (I-Fest),which is a month-long programme dedicated to awareness creation about the Internet. He said �the company has acquired supporting structures and is poised to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world�. �We have three modern data centres to support corporate organisations and individuals. The company has also �modernised and increased the capacity of our base stations to take care of increased network demand�. Internet/data penetration Figures from International Telecommunications Union (ITU) indicate that Internet penetration in Ghana has moved from 14.11 per cent in 2011 to 17.11 per cent in 2012, representing three per cent growth. MTN has dominated Ghana�s data market with 63 per cent market share, according to the National Telecommunications Authority (NCA). Globally, the use of smart devices and social media has helped to increase the use of data. According to the United Nations, there will soon be as many mobile cellular subscriptions as the seven billion people inhabiting the planet. The ITUs, The World in 2013: ICT Facts and Figures, show that despite a positive general trend where 96 per cent of the world has access to mobile phones in the developing world including Ghana, 90 per cent of the 1.1 billion households are still not able to surf the Internet. Changing the trend Judging from the figures, the MTN CEO said; �means that we in Ghana and the rest of Africa have to take very bold measures to increase data uptake�. �As the leading telecommunications company in Ghana, MTN has a critical role to play in improving access. It is why we are focused on our new vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers�, Mr Taukobong said. According to him, the IFest activities for this year would include the Opera Mini Challenge and an educational drive on Internet usage for identifiable professionals such us doctors, lawyers, teachers and bankers. He noted that the IFest celebration is not only to create awareness but also to create fun and excitement. �In view of that, throughout the month of September, two lucky subscribers stand the chance of winning two smart phones (Huawei Ascend Y20) each day�. he added. Mr Taukobong said if there was proof, according to the 2009 World Bank Study of 120 middle and low-income economies, that every 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration yielded an additional 1.38 per cent in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, the company�s drive to increase the data and internet penetration in the country would boost Ghana�s GDP growth. He explained that �Our success is due to the attractive data bundle offerings, faster speed offerings and affordable handsets which we constantly make available on the market. But as indicated, there is more to be done and we are ready for it�.