TELECOMS

Glo Mobile To Quit Ghana?

Nigeria’s Glo Mobile says it intends to pull out of Ghana, an authoritative source close to the company has disclosed. This source told the Daily Graphic that it has decided to divest its investment in the country and exit Ghana as it faced several challenges from some interests bent on sabotaging the company's nation-wide take-off plan.

A source close to the company disclosed that some of the challenges the company had faced since it was awarded a GSM licence by the National Communications Authority (NCA) included an encroachment on the frequency allocated to it by the NCA, the repeated sabotage of its billboards and the delay in securing approval for the swift deployment of its infrastructure, such as base stations.

It said officials of the company were concerned that while the company had been working at a frenetic pace to formally roll out the network, some forces had been deliberately working around the clock to cripple its operation and prevent it from rolling out quickly.

Another source close to the company said the operator's management felt that its infrastructure in the country was not getting adequate protection from the law enforcement agencies.

The source, which was privy to the outcome of a recent meeting held by senior management staff of the company on the issues, said Glo was displeased with the various acts of vandalism and would be relieved if the law enforcement agencies apprehended the perpetrators and exposed them. When contacted, a senior official of Glo Mobile Ghana, Derek Obuobi, said he would not comment on the matter now.

Glo Mobile Ghana recently embarked on a massive deployment of outdoor advertising structures, comprising billboards, light boxes, lamp post signs and brand marks (branded lit globes), throughout Accra as part of the build-up towards the nation-wide launch of its operations in Ghana.

However, immediately after the deployment of the outdoor advertising materials, a number of the structures were vandalised.  In February, about 15 light boxes mounted from the Airport Traffic Light median to the Opeibea House Traffic Light were destroyed, with the flexi materials used on both sides of the units torn. One of the Glo brand marks mounted in Accra was also destroyed.

About two weeks ago, about 16 light boxes installed by Glo from the King Tackie Tawiah Overpass to Busy Internet were also vandalised. “Every single unit, with materials made from top grade flexi, was defaced with a sharp object, suspected to be a knife or a razor blade,” the source said. "It was curious that light boxes belonging to another telecom operator deployed within the same stretch continuing from Busy Internet to the Kwame Nkrumah Circle were left unscathed," it said.

In December last year, some people were apprehended and handed over to the police while they were attempting to sabotage a Glo mast located at the Baatsona area of Accra.  "It is clear that these acts of lawlessness are being perpetrated to frustrate Glo's roll-out plans," the source maintained.

Another major area of concern for Glo is the ban on the erection of telecom masts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The development is said to have affected Glo the most, it being the only network building a nation-wide telecoms company from the scratch. "Glo is losing the opportunity to make revenue, for every day there is a delay in launching its network. I believe that is why it is worried," the source said.

Source: Graphic Ghana

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