Ghana - 3.4 Telecommunications


Telecommunication often refers to the transmission of signals over distances for the purposes of communication. The telecommunication services industry in Ghana is built around the main telecommunication service providers who provide the market with communication services in the form of data and voice. All services in the industry are highly dependent and driven by technology, hence it is prone to constant changes in line with technological advancements. 

The telecoms sector accounted for about 18.4% of Ghana’s GDP as at third quarter of 2022 compared to 22.8% same period in 2021. As at end 2021 sector witnessed a growth of 4.6%. 


The National Communications Authority (NCA) has licensed: 

  • Four service providers to provide mobile telecoms services in Ghana:, MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Glo. 

  • Three fixed network operators (MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo) 

  • Five (5) Broadband Wireless Access operators, namely BLU Telecommunications, 

Broadband Home (BBH), Busy Internet, Surfline and Telesol.  

Note: This report will focus mainly on Surfline and Telesol due to non-submission of data from BBH, Busy and BLU Telecommunications. 

  • One hundred sixty-two (162) Television stations (operational 123),  

  • Seven hundred fourteen (714) Radio stations (operational 517).  

  • Four Internet providers, MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo and Surfline. 


The Mobile service providers ,are namely AirtelTigo, Glo, MTN and Vodafone. This report focusses mainly on MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo due to non-submission of data from Glo. This section provides details on the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Ghana by looking at the Mobile Voice Subscriptions. 

According to market data published by the National Communications Authority (NCA), the country had 40.31million mobile subscriptions at the end of 2022. The mobile voice subscription penetration rate for same period was 127.11% from 129.14 in September 2022. Mobile voice subscription has since dropped to 38.41 million as at March 2023 as a result of the SIM reregistration. 


Here below the major mobile operators in Ghana, their services, market share, and the regulatory environment: source 



Mobile users 


25.62 mln (66.72 %) 


7.08 mln (18.43 %) 


5.7 mln (14.85%) 


MTN Ghana: 

First mobile carrier in Ghana with over 25.62 million users. Ownership: MTN Ghana is a subsidiary of the MTN Group, a South African multinational telecommunications company. MTN is one of the largest mobile operators in Ghana. 

Services: MTN Ghana offers a comprehensive range of mobile services, including voice, data, and high-speed 4G and 5G data services. They also provide mobile money services under the brand name "MTN Mobile Money." 


Vodafone Ghana: 

Second mobile carrier in Ghana with 7.08 million users. Ownership: Vodafone Ghana is part of the Vodafone Group, a global telecommunications conglomerate headquartered in the United Kingdom. 

Services: Vodafone Ghana provides mobile voice and data services, as well as broadband internet and fixed-line services. They also offer mobile money services through "Vodafone Cash." 



Third mobile carrier in Ghana, with 5.7 million users. Ownership: AirtelTigo is the result of a merger between Bharti Airtel (a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, an Indian multinational telecommunications company) and Millicom International Cellular. It's one of the prominent mobile operators in Ghana. 

Services: AirtelTigo provides mobile voice and data services, as well as mobile money services under "AirtelTigo Money." They have been investing in expanding their network infrastructure. 


Other Operators and MVNOs: 

In addition to the major operators, Ghana has several smaller operators and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) that cater to specific customer segments or offer niche services. These operators often rely on agreements with the major mobile operators for network access. 


Fixed Network  

This section analyses the fixed telephone industry in Ghana. Three (3) operators namely Vodafone, AirtelTigo and MTN have been licensed by the NCA to provide this service.  

Fixed Voice Subscriptions and Penetration Rate  

Total number of fixed line subscriptions increased from 330,016 in Q4 2022 to 333,057 at the end of Q1 2023. This shows a penetration rate of 1.04% and a 0.92% growth rate. Year-on-year subscription increased from 320,460 in Q1 2022 to 333,057 at the end of Q1 2023, representing a growth rate of 3.93%. 


BWA Subscriptions and Penetration Rate  

BWA subscriptions decreased from 38,078 in Q4 2022 to 37,785 in Q1 2023, representing a decline in growth by 0.76%. Year-on-year subscriptions also declined by 22.73%, which was from 48,901 in Q1 2022 to 37,785 at the end Q1 2023. Penetration rate for broadband wireless access was 0.12% at the end of Q1 2023. 

Subscriptions per Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Operator 

Surfline recorded 35,797 subscriptions at the end of the quarter under review representing 94.74% of the market share, as against 35,796 in the previous quarter. Telesol ended this quarter with a subscription of 1,988 and a market share of 5.26%. 


Authorised Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio Station 

The total number of authorised FM stations in Ghana as at the end of Q1 2023 was 714. The total number of FM stations in operation was 517 in the quarter under review. The Ashanti Region had the highest number of FM stations (105), representing 14.71% of the total number of authorised FM stations in the country. The Northeast Region had the least number of authorised FM Stations (12), representing 1.68% of the total authorised FM Stations in the country. 


Authorised Television Stations 

The total number of authorised TV stations in Ghana at the end of the first quarter of 2023 was 162 out of which 123 were operational during the quarter under review, representing 75.93% of the total number of authorised TV stations in the country. 


The NCA sets regulations and policies to ensure fair competition, consumer protection, and the development of the telecommunications infrastructure. Ghana has a history of promoting competition and innovation in the sector. 

The competitive landscape among these operators has driven investments in expanding network coverage, improving service quality, and offering innovative services. Ghana's telecommunications sector has seen growth in mobile data services, and operators have been working to meet the growing connectivity needs of the population. The presence of multiple operators provides consumers with choices and options for mobile communication, which has led to better services and pricing. Ghana's telecommunications sector continues to develop and evolve, reflecting the country's growing digital economy and connectivity needs. 



Telephones - fixed lines 

Total subscriptions: 330,016 (2022 est.) 
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 1 (2021 est.) 

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 103 


Telephones - mobile cellular 

total subscriptions: 40,454,073 (2021 est.) 
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 123 (2021 est.) 

comparison ranking: total subscriptions 40 


Telecommunication systems 

General assessment: challenged by unreliable electricity and shortage of skilled labour, Ghana seeks to extend telecom services nationally; investment in fibre infrastructure and off-grid solutions provide data coverage to over 23 million people; launch of LTE has improved mobile data services, including m-commerce and banking; moderately competitive Internet market, most through mobile networks; international submarine cables, and terrestrial cables have improved Internet capacity; LTE services are widely available; the relatively high cost of 5G-compatible devices also inhibits most subscribers from migrating from 3G and LTE platforms (2022) 
domestic: fixed-line data less than 1 per 100 subscriptions; mobile-cellular subscriptions 123 per 100 persons (2021) 
international: country code - 233; landing points for the SAT-3/WASC, MainOne, ACE, WACS and GLO-1 fibre-optic submarine cables that provide connectivity to South and West Africa, and Europe; satellite earth stations - 4 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); microwave radio relay link to Panaftel system connects Ghana to its neighbours; GhanaSat-1 nanosatellite launched in 2017 (2017)  

Broadcast media 

state-owned TV station, 2 state-owned radio networks; several privately owned TV stations and many privately owned radio stations; transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are accessible; several cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable. 

Internet country code 



Internet users 

Total : 22.44 millions (2021 est.) 
percent of population : 68% (2021 est.) 

comparison ranking: total 39 

Broadband - fixed subscriptions 

Total : 78,371 (2020 est.) 
Subscriptions per 100 inhabitants : 0.3 (2020 est.) 

comparison ranking: total 132 

Data from CIA factbook 


Ghana's telecommunications statistics indicated that as of 2023 there are 32,6 million cell-phone lines in operation. Competition among mobile-phone companies in Ghana is an important part of the telecommunications industry growth of Ghana, with companies obtaining more than 80 per 100 persons as mobile phone and fixed-line phone users.  

In order to obtain a sim card, it’s imperative to register by submitting an official ID or passport to the mobile phone provider. 

Telephone Services 

Is there an existing landline telephone network? 

(Yes / No) 


Does it allow international calls? 

(Yes / No) 


On average, number and length of downtime periods 

 1 in 4 months but takes long to be restored 

Mobile phone providers (List) 

 MTN, Vodafone, AirtelTigo  

Estimated availability and coverage. 

(Approximate percentage of national coverage) 

 MTN has the widest coverage with 66.7% of the nation customer population. Followed by Vodafone and AirtelTigo 

Telecommunication Regulation 

THE NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS AUTHORITY ACT, 2008, is an Act to establish the National Communications Authority as the central body to license and regulate communications activities and services in the country and to provide for related purposes. All communications equipment imports require a clearance letter from the National Communications Authority.  Securing a clearance letter prior to importation can help avoid delays at the port of entry.   


Regulations on usage or import of: 

Yes / No 

Regulating Authority 



 National Communication Authority 

HF Radio 


 National Communication Authority 

UHF/VHF/HF radio: handheld, base and mobile 


 National Communication Authority 

UHF/VHF repeaters 


 National Communication Authority 






 National Communication Authority 



Individual Network Operator Licenses Required 


Frequency Licenses Required                               Yes 


Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems 

Security communications are managed by UNDSS. UN agencies have their individual VHF and HF frequencies; however, all agencies primary rest channel is UNDSS. Regarding VSAT, agencies have their individual VSAT. 

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems 








VHF frequencies 







HF frequencies 

























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