Telecommunications in Ghana

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Telecommunications in Ghana
Ghana Orthographic Projection
Ghana
Ghana communications topics
Statistics
Land lines 285,000 (2012)[1]
Mobile cellular lines 25.6 million (2012)[1]
Internet users 4.2 million (2012)[2][3]

Telecommunications in Ghana include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Telecommunications is the main economic sector of Ghana according to the statistics of the World Bank due to the Ghana liberal policy around Information and Communications Technology (ICT).[4] Among the main sectors of investments, 65% is for ICT, 8% for communications and 27% is divided for public administration.[4][5]

Radio and television[edit]

In 2007 Ghana was served by one state-owned TV station, two state-owned radio networks; several privately owned TV stations and a large number of privately owned radio stations. Multiple international broadcasters and several cable and satellite TV subscription services were also available.[1] In 2010, there were 140 authorized radio stations with 84 in operation and 32 authorized television stations with approximately 26 in operation.[6] Television broadcasters include TV Africa, Metro TV, TV3, GTV, and Viasat 1.

The Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) founded by decree in 1968 is the state agency that provides civilian radio and television services. It was created for the development of the education and entertainment sectors and to enhance the knowledge of the people of Ghana.[7]

Freedom of the press[edit]

After the overthrow of the elected government by Jerry Rawlings in December 1981 the Provisional National Defence Council repealed the liberal media reforms of previous governments, abolished the Third Constitution and the Press Commission, and passed laws that prevented criticism of the government or its policies, dismissed editors critical of Rawlings or the provisional council, the Preventive Custody and Newspaper Licensing Law which allowed indefinite detention of journalists without trial, and the Newspaper Licensing Law which stifled private media development. Ghanaian press freedom was restored with the promulgation of a new constitution in 1992, presidential and parliamentary elections in November and December 1992, and a return to multiparty democratic rule on 7 January 1993.[8]

The mass media of Ghana today is among the most liberal in Africa,[9] with Ghana ranking as the third freest in Africa and 30th in the world on the 2013 World Press Freedom Index from Reporters Without Borders.[10] Article 21 of the Constitution of Ghana guarantees freedom of the press and other media, freedom of speech and expression, thought, and information.[11]

Telephones[edit]

Ghana mobile phone and smart phone use, July 2009.

The prefix code of Ghana for international calls is +233.[1]

As of 2012 there were 285,000 fixed telephone lines in use, 120th in the world, and 25.6 million mobile cellular lines, 42nd in the world.[1]

The telephone system is outdated, with an unreliable fixed-line infrastructure heavily concentrated in Accra and some wireless local loop installed, domestic trunks primarily use microwave radio relay. There are 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean) satellite earth stations. Microwave radio relay links Ghana to its neighbors (2009).[1]

The SAT-3/WASC, Main One, GLO-1,[1] and ACE international fiber-optic submarine cables provide links to countries along the west coast of Africa and on to Europe and Asia.[12]

In 2010 two fixed line and six mobile phone companies were authorized to operate in Ghana of which 5 were operating, 13 satellite providers were authorized of which 8 were operating, 176 VSAT providers were authorized of which 57 were operating, and 99 public and private network operators were authorized of which 25 were operating. Authorized telecommunications companies include Mobile Telecommunications Networks (MTN), Vodafone Ghana which purchased Telecom Ghana, Tigo which replaced Mobitel (Millicom International Cellular), Bharti Airtel and Zain which acquired Western Telesystems Ltd (Westel), Glo Mobile Ghana Limited,[6] and Expresso Telecom which acquired Kasapa Telecom.[13]

Competition among multiple mobile-cellular providers has spurred growth, with a mobile phone teledensity in 2009 of more than 80 per 100 persons and rising.[1]

Internet[edit]

The top-level domain of Ghana is .gh.[1]

Ghana was one of the first countries in Africa to connect to the Internet.[14] With an average household download speed of 5.8 Mbit/s Ghana had the third fastest speed on the African continent and the 110th fastest out of 188 countries worldwide in February 2014.[15]

In 2009 the number of Internet users stood at 1.3 million, 93rd in the world.[1] In 2012 the number of Internet users reached 4.2 million (69th in the world) or 17.1% of the population (149th in the world).[2][3]

In 2012 there were 62,124 fixed (109th in the world; 0.3% of the population, 156th in the world) and 8.2 million wireless (27th in the world; 33.3% of the population, 49th in the world) broadband subscriptions.[2][16][17]

In 2012 there were 59,086 Internet hosts operating in Ghana, 93rd in the world,[1] and Ghana had been allocated 332,544 IPv4 addresses, 102nd in the world, with less than 0.05% of the world total, and 13.2 addresses per 1000 people.[18][19]

In 2010 there were 165 authorized Internet service providers of which 29 were operating.[6]

Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without judicial oversight. Individuals and groups engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail.[20]

Although the constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press, the government sometimes restricts those rights. The police arbitrarily arrest and detain journalists. Some journalists practice self-censorship. The constitution prohibits arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, and the government respects these prohibitions in practice.[20]

In 2002 the government of Ghana censored Internet media coverage of tribal violence in Northern Ghana.[21]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Communications: Ghana", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012", Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  3. ^ a b "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunications Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  4. ^ a b Statistics of Ghana "World Bank". Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  5. ^ Ghana. Internet usage and telecommunications. "Internet World Stats". Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Market Report: Telecomunications in Ghana (Spanish), Nabila Atteneri Benítez Trujillo, Proexca, November 2010. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Ministry of Information and Media Relations". Government of Ghana Portal. Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Ghana - History", "Country Facts". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Ghana - Culture and Media", "Country Facts". Retrieved 6 February 2013.
  10. ^ 2013 World Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders, 30 January 2013. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  11. ^ Article 21: General Fundamental Freedoms, Constitution of the Republic of Ghana, 28 April 1992. Retrieved 15 February 2014.
  12. ^ Ghana to start eastern corridor fibre-optic project. Telecompaper.com. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  13. ^ "Expresso takes over Kasapa Telecom, pledges good services". Ghana News Agency. 13 November 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  14. ^ Ghana: Internet Usage and Telecommunications Report. Internet World Stats. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  15. ^ "Ookla: Household Download Index". Ookla Net Metrics. Speedtest.net. Retrieved 15 February 2014. 
  16. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  17. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  18. ^ Select Formats, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  19. ^ "Population". The World Factbook. United States: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2 April 2012.  Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  20. ^ a b "Ghana", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 25 March 2013. Retrieved 14 February 2014.
  21. ^ "Ghana Internet Censorship 2008". NIBII. 15 December 2008. 

External links[edit]