ONE DIAL WOULD INVEST INITIAL USD400M AS GHANA’S THIRD NATIONAL OPERATOR

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

One Dial Communications Limited, a network service provider, intends to invest over USD400 million in Ghana’s telecommunication industry if it is granted a license to operate in the country by the National Communications Authority (NCA), according to Bing Aidoo, CEO of One Dial. He told The Ghanaian Chronicle in an interview in Tema "a further $1 billion investment would be brought in if the initial investment yields positive result."

Mr. Aidoo said the company would create Information Technology (IT) villages at specific locations comparable to that of the Silicon Valley in California to attract companies from inside and outside the country.

The company has identified two areas where their investment would go. The IT triangle which covers the area between Cape Coast, Mankessim and Denkyira, would might form the "Silicon Valley" for the southern portion of the country. In the North it would build its services out from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. The CEO said that there is a similar proposal for Takoradi and its environs.

The CEO noted that delays are making their financial backers hesitant about investing in the country and advised the NCA to implement the spirit of the National Communications Regulations, 2003, L.I. 1719 which abolished the exclusivity that Ghana Telecom and Westel had, and to regulate interconnectivity among regulators.

Mr. Aidoo said that Nigerians fought for this investment to go to Nigeria but did not materialize because most technicians involved are Ghanaians but cautioned that with these delays, the company might be forced to move to Nigeria.

Dr. Kwabena Riverson, a Sprint top telecommunication engineer in the US and George Baiden, One Dial telecommunication engineer are some of the numerous Ghanaians in the west who are involved with the project. "They are coming down to help the country grow".

He said for the NCA to perform these tasks effectively with the coming of about 40 new entrants into the industry, structures of the authority should be strengthened and capacities upgraded. "NCA should be ready", he added. He stressed that as soon as the license is given to them by NCA, "technicians would just come in to plug the network". "That is the only thing we’ve been waiting for two years," he added.

George Baiden said the network they are proposing would be very dynamic and efficient because the most flexible available technologies would be used to transmit data. "A combination of wireless, fiber optics, laser fiber, satellite transmission and others would be used and it would be mainly be based on the terrain we found ourselves", Mr. Baiden said. The telecommunication engineer said they are targeting a 99.9% quality in terms of service provision.

The principal of Marquis Financial Services and the financial adviser of One Dial, Mr. Auggie Palas said it is their aim to target the West African market, with its 250 million population. "In the spirit of NEPAD and the common market of the sub region, One Dial would expand gradually into the West African market".

Ghanaian Chronicle