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19.02.2007 General News

Westel vows to revolutionize GSM service

By DAILYEXPRESS-Orlando Afedo

Frustrated Ghanaian mobile phone users who may be dissatisfied with the poor quality of service they receive from their network operators will soon have the luxury of choosing to use a new mobile phone network.

Western Telesystems Ghana Limited (Westel), which recently became a 100% state-owned entity, is promising to radically transform GSM mobile telephony in Ghana with the introduction of its new cellular network service.

Speaking about the company's decision to roll-out cellular phone communication services, Acting Managing Director Ursula Owusu said Westel will work to take a large chunk of the mobile phone market.

She told the dailyEXPRESS that the introduction of the GSM mobile phone service by Westel is being preceded by the engagement of a strategic management partner with competent and experienced management. They will be expected to provide leadership and finance for the acquisition and installation of quality equipment and will be completed between six to eighteen months. .

Westel is the country's second fixed line telecommunication network provider. Though licensed to provide services across the country, the company's services have been mainly limited to the Greater Accra region for many years.

Ms Owusu however rejected suggestions that the company's decision to go mobile follows its failed and unsuccessful attempt at deploying and expanding the fixed line service across the country. According to her, Westel is reputed for quality of service and total customer satisfaction, and the same level of success will be replicated in the mobile phone industry.

Westel was granted the license to provide cellular service by the National Communications Authority in addition to its fixed line products.

While conceding that most publicly owned companies have had a track record of poor performance, Ms Owusu's confidence about the success of Westel in a mobile phone industry which is already dominated by four major network operators rests in the fact that majority of the shares will be offloaded to the new management team which will have a major say in the company's decision making process.

She further adds that as a result of the expected revolution within the company, a few people are likely to lose their job. But she was quick to note that this may only happen in extreme cases especially when all her current employees are working extremely hard for the success of the company.

Currently, Westel offers other range of services such as prepaid calling cards, international toll-free, dial tones, and direct connect services in addition to its fixed telephone lines in the Ghanaian telecom market.

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