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23.11.2005 Business & Finance

Obuasi blasts poor onetouch service

By theServant
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For most in habitants of Obuasi the current onetouch Biggie promotion by Ghana Telecom is nothing but a nuisance to them, due to the lack of reception by most onetouch users in key residential areas of the municipality. The situation has not only created economic and business loss to G.T, but also given an urge to major competitors in the cell phone industry, Areeba and Buzz.

Inhabitants within parts of the Anglogold Ashanti mine, and other key communities such as Wawase, Kwabrafoso, Tutuka, Boete, Brahabebome and a host of other towns do not enjoy G.T's onetouch services. Although other cellular providers like Areeba and buzz do not cover these areas entirely, their services are comparably better in these areas compelling most onetouch users to switch over to Areeba or Buzz.

A study conducted by The Servant has revealed that over 30,000 inhabitants live in areas where onetouch services are either poor or non existent at all. The study further revealed that a large chunk of the almost 6,000 Anglogold Ashanti workforce do not subscribe to onetouch due to the poor or non existing services in key residential areas.

When contacted, the Ashanti regional public relation officer of G.T, Ms. Mamle Asare Pat told ourcorrespondent that her company is very much aware of the problem, but said they are working feverishly to normalize service to those areas. Mamle said the problem is basically due to the geographical terrain of Obuasi, saying the town is full of mountains and valleys. She said however, that her company is seriously prospecting for additional cell sites to mount additional equipment to enhance service. “Obuasi is big market for us, and we are indeed worried about our inability to cover the town thereby giving our competitors an edge” she stated. Mamle said G.T currently has a programme to correct the anomaly but said it is in phases and could not specify the specific duration, within which the programme will be fully executed, adding that such programmes are usually controlled from the nation's capital, Accra.

Reacting to concerns that the Biggie promotion currently being run by G.T deducts callers' credits between the free hours of 11pm-7am, Mamle Asare said the first minute of each call made to any onetouch network is charged, whiles the second to the twenty ninth minutes are free. Any call made beyond the 29th minute will however be charged.

This she noted is intended to avoid the situation whereby most callers might hijack the system for several hours, causing congestion.

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