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19.11.2002 Business & Finance

Snap Subscribers Can Now Travel the World

By Accra Mail
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The Deputy Minister of Communications and Technology, Mr. John S. Achuliwor says government has taken telecommunications as one of the key sectors that requires modernisation to be able to contribute significantly to the social, economic and cultural development of the country. He said this when he launched HOP, the new prepaid Roaming Service by Scancom Limited as part of its sixth anniversary at Golden Tulip Hotel in Accra.

Roaming is a GSM mobile service that allows the subscribers to make and receive calls on their own number whilst travelling outside Ghana. The service hitherto for post-paid or contract subscribers is now available to Spacefon Snap subscribers. Operators need a Roaming Deposit of $500 to $2,500 or its equivalent in cedis to activate the service.

Mr. Achuliwor said healthy competition within the industry has improved service delivery from telecom operators, but "much more must be done in the provision of quality of service and reduction of tariffs to make telephony accessible".

He said "government is exploring the chances of establishing an open-access backbone infrastructure that will span the entire spread of the country and service the telecom and other communication service providers".

The minister said mobile cellular subscription has outstripped fixed telephony. The current figure for cellular stands at above 300,000 subscribers, out of which Spacefon has 200,000. "There are indications that the sector holds considerable promise for investors." He said his ministry would support any company or individuals that would contribute towards making the government achieve the policy of making Ghana an ICT nation within the shortest possible time.

Mr. Ahmad Farroukh, Managing Director of Scancom Limited said Spacefon has roaming agreements with 80 partners around the world.

He said by the end of the year Saltpond, Mankessim, Winneba, Elmina and Aflao will enjoy Spacefon services.

Mr. Thomas Sowah of Spacefon took the audience through how HOP works. He said instructions for HOP are different from the normal Spacefon Snap instructions.

Spacefon is the third GSM operator in Africa and the first GSM operator in West Africa to offer full two-way (receiving and making call) prepaid roaming service.

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