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05.10.2005 Business & Finance

Over 3 trillion cedis private capital injected in telecom sector

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Accra, Oct. 5, GNA - Ghana is currently dictating the pace of growth of the telecomm industry in Sub-Saharan Africa experiencing the largest growth ever in private capital injection of over three trillion cedis within a period of four years.

Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah, Minister of Communication who announced this on Wednesday said for a period of 60 years in Ghana, the industry attracted 218,000 subscribers but within the past four years, the number had jumped to 2.3 million customers nationwide Monday. This, he described as a miracle, saying, "We are seeing a miracle in Ghana's telecom industry, in 2000 the total subscriber stood at 218,000, in 2002, 650,000, in 2004, 1.6 million people and as I speak now, there are about 2.3 million customers."

Mr.Kan-Dapaah was speaking at the celebration of the "New Kasapa" digital system, which now put the network on a Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) technology that would enable customers to enjoy wider and better services.

The system would also enable Kasapa to reach more people in more places in addition to upholding on to the network's basic values and philosophy of making its service more affordable through the provision of free calls, low tariffs.

The Minister lauded the Kasapa Company for demonstrating and remaining committed to their values by upholding customer service and satisfaction in high esteem. He said the widespread liberalisation in basic telecom services in the country was in consistent to government policy on the Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

He said the challenge of the company in future would be to expand its coverage area to most regions in the country but added that with the company's success story, he hoped most of their targets would be achieved.

Mr. Robert Palitz the Managing Director of the Company said, the most important thing Kasapa could have with its customers and with the rest of Ghana soon to join it, was trust. According to him, trust in business has been abused in the country so badly that people no longer believe in advertising messages. "This is perhaps our biggest challenge and the only way we can deal with that is by standing up and demonstrating to you. "When we say free calls we mean exactly that - you don't pay anything for the call.'

Mr Palitz said the company hopes to cover seven regions before the end of the year and go nationwide by June 2006. He said the company focuses on keeping prices down and extending coverage because it recognised that 91 percent of Ghanaians does not have phone of their own hence wanted to put telephone service within the reach of more people.

Mr. Palitz said many of the seven percent, who does have mobile phones could not use them as often as they wish because of the high units costs.

With the new Kasapa, customers could only use the Chip in Kasapa CDMA phone and not in GSM phone.