Vodafone Ghana has described as over-priced, the cost of the 4G spectrum by the National Communications Authority.
The company did not take part in the bidding process when the NCA put in on offer at a price of 67.5 million dollars. Only one telecommunication company, MTN, out of the six operating in the country, bid for it last year.
According to the Corporate Relations Manager at Vodafone, Ebenezer Amankwaah, it did not make economic sense to pay that much towards the provision of higher speed internet service to its customers, since the technology is cheaper in other countries on the continent.
“$67.5 million is ridiculous. And if you compare the same band being auctioned in other developing countries, you’ll not get the same price. There was a similar thing in Nigeria and Tanzania and nobody charged $67.5 m. So we went to the regulator and said the spectrum is overpriced and it’ll not be prudent or cost-effective for any business to buy it (the band) at that price”, he said.
Amankwaah, however, added that inasmuch as the 4G technology provides the platform for the provision of high speed internet service, it is not worth the cost at which it is being auctioned by the NCA.
“Do we want 4G as a company? Yes. Is 4G good for our customers? Yes. Is 4G the only platform that will guarantee additional speed for our customers? No. Because there are other platforms like career aggregations which is a new technology that you can deploy as a company to ensure regular speed for your customers”, he further explained. Vodafone, according to its Corporate Relations Manager, is exploring “every opportunity to give our customers the best” on the 3G platform it is currently using.
There are currently three 4th Generation Long Term Evolution, 4G LTE providers on the market; Surfline, Busy and MTN. three other internet service providers which were awarded the 4G license by the NCA are expected to start operations by the end of 2016, according to the President of the Ghana Internet Service Providers Association (GISPA), Ernest Brown.
“I can specifically say on authority that Zipnet will launch before the year ends”, he emphasized.
Source: Ghana/starrfmonline.com/103.5FM/Tawakalitu Braimah