Vodafone Ghana CEO, Patricia Obo-Nai has said that the company is comfortable with any measures by the regulator that ensures a competitive environment that provides all players equal opportunity to collectively satisfy consumer needs.
She was speaking on Bloomberg Surveillance’s live interview, which centered mainly on how changes in Ghana’s telecom sector, including the outbreak of COVID-19 and the declaration of MTN as a significant market power (SMP), had affected the company’s operations and services to consumers.
In response to a question on steps taken by Government to halt the dominance of MTN in Ghana, the Vodafone Ghana CEO said Vodafone is more concerned with having a positive competitive environment that provides equal space for all players to collectively help to satisfy consumer needs.
“We at Vodafone Ghana don’t have any problem so long as the actions of the regulator is helping the consumer, stimulating innovation and promoting creativity in the industry,” she said.
As for secondly quarter 2020, Vodafone Ghana held 20.94% voice market share making it the second largest in that space, and 15.49% data market share, which is the third largest.
Meanwhile, the runaway market leader, MTN, commands a comfortable 57.07% voice market share and 67.78% data market share; and there is no sign that any of the three other players can catch up with MTN as it continues to increase market share and subscriber base.
Prior the MTN’s SMP declaration, telco bosses have been speaking about the need for government intervention in various fora with journalist, but since the declaration was done, they have remained large mute over the matter waiting for the necessary corrective measures to take effect before they speak.
MTN is currently the Supreme Court seeking to quash the declaration and any intended corrective measures.
But Patricia Obo-Nai has finally broken her post-SMP declaration silence saying Vodafone is comfortable with any steps intended to provide a competitive environment that helps to meet consumer needs.
Touching on the impact of COVID-19 on its operations, the Vodafone Ghana CEO said that the outbreak of COVID-19 in Ghana has seen the company’s internet traffic go up by 50%.
According to her, the pandemic-driven surge in data traffic has also placed a responsibility on telcos to increase network infrastructure in Ghana.
“We’ve seen data traffic go up by about 50 per cent and so we’ve had to expand capacity to manage it as much as possible,” she said.
She said Vodafone, as part of measures to satisfy consumer needs, embarked on a journey to drive digital adoption and help to establish opportunities for the education and health sectors, and also the small and medium-scale enterprises.
According to her, the company also increased its digital wireless connectivity, enabled more cashless payments, and delivered more financial services through its mobile money platform during this pandemic period.
Patricia Obo-Nai said Vodafone Ghana has for instance seen a 40 per cent increase in the number of active customers on its mobile money platform since the outbreak of COVID-19, and she believes it was a good transformation because mobile money is a safer, secure and more convenient way of payments.
Vodafone responded to the increase in mobile money customers by giving free interoperability transfers in addition to the free transfer of GHC100 in a day, as sanctioned by the regulator.
She noted that government also partnered the telecom companies and the Electricity Company of Ghana to provide access to fibre in communities and schools, saying that was a good effort to ensure that all customers enjoyed same services.
Recently, Vodafone was put under the Vodacom umbrella, and Patricia Obo-Nai said that has enabled the two entities to share best practices, and create synergies through capitalizing systems to promote better services.