Telecoms in Ghana: How our IoT SIM cards are being used in West Africa
Telecom26 provides telecom services across Africa with customers and partners in almost every country.
We have previously looked at what Telecom26 is up to in Zimbabwe and Mozambique and recently unveiled details about how we are providing connectivity to IoT Healthcare programmes being rolled out by SystemOne.
This week we will take a look at telecoms in Ghana, another country in Africa where Telecom26 has a strong presence.
Formerly known as the Gold Coast, The Republic of Ghana gained independence from Britain in 1957, becoming the first sub-Saharan nation to break free from colonial rule. It’s bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the South. Its population is around 30 million and the country spans a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), making it just a little bit smaller than the whole of the United Kingdom.
According to the BBC, Ghana is considered one of the more stable countries in West Africa with gold, cocoa and, more recently, oil helping to fuel an economic boom
However, according to The Africa Report, the COVID lockdown has “brought the economy to its knees with several years of economic growth of 6% or more being wiped out by people sitting at home, including a significant portion of the nearly 90% of the population that work in the informal part of the economy and go to work each day to earn wages”.
Telecoms in Ghana
The country has three MNOs: MTN, AirtelTigo and Vodafone Ghana (formerly the incumbent telco, Ghana Telecom and also the principal fixed line provider).
Budde research describes the mobile market in Ghana as “vibrant” with the launch of LTE services in 2019 “greatly improving the quality of mobile data services for end-users” with 4G predicted to overtake 2G services by 2023.
As a result, the GSMA reports that Ghana has the highest mobile penetration in West Africa. By the end of 2019 mobile adoption stood at 55% - higher than the regional average of 44.8% - with 16.7m unique mobile subscribers, 15.1m smartphone devices and 10.7m mobile internet users in the country (as of Q3 2019). Fixed and mobile internet penetration currently stands at 64% (as of Q3) according to GSMA Intelligence. The Government has an ambitious goal to have 95 per cent of the population connected by December 2020.
Mobile technology has had an increasingly disruptive impact on several sectors across the economy including financial services, agriculture, education, energy, transport, logistics - and health.
Telecom26 and IoT Connectivity in Ghana
The Africa Report says that “…Ghana has produced the best testing results in Africa” thanks to swift action by the Government.
However, sadly the country has been waging a much longer battle against more lethal infectious diseases such as TB, Ebola and HIV.
Telecom26 has been helping its long-term customer, SystemOne, to rollout TB, HIV, Ebola - and now COVID-19 - testing programmes across Ghana.
Key to the success of SystemOne’s testing programme is reliable connectivity; speed of diagnosis and treatment is often the difference between life and death.
The traditional route is to buy local SIMs to provide device connectivity. Unfortunately, this limits users to one MNO - and adds juggling multiple SIMs across devices to find the strongest local network to a long list of headaches.
Telecom26’s IoT SIM card service was developed with the specific goal of improving connectivity in remote areas where coverage can be patchy. Our IoT SIM cards enable devices to automatically access and switch between multiple networks both in-country and across borders thus removing the need to worry about the coverage of a single MNO, or the existence of roaming alliances. Multiple-IMSI profiles are pre-loaded on every SIM allowing for simple remote reconfiguration if the primary network has poor or no service.
Telecom26 has been providing its IoT SIM cards to SystemOne’s operations across both Africa and Asia for the past two years. Our SIMs are compatible with 1100 cellular networks from over 620 mobile operators in more than 220 countries. You can read more about our Global Roaming Service here.
You can read more about our work with SystemOne here.
If you have any questions about telecoms in Ghana, or need help with connectivity there, or in any other country in Africa or around the world then please Get In Touch.