IDC: More consolidation on the cards for Ghana's ICT market

Ghanaian using a tablet(Image source: SandisterTei/Commons)While the Ghanaian ICT market is more mature in comparison to other West African countries, quality of service (QoS) remains a challenge, with telcos and internet service providers (ISPs) struggling to offer seamless connectivity of voice and data services

According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Ghana ICT Market Overview for 2017, businesses that can guarantee excellent QoS will emerge as the preferred mobile providers for both consumer and enterprise services.

Oluwole Babatope, Senior Research Analyst for Telecommunications and IoT at IDC West Africa, says they expect more consolidation in the market as struggling telcos and ISPs seek partnerships to drive stronger competition. “In the short to medium term, mobile money services will be key to growing the customer base. We expect that multimedia and triple-play services will lead customer retention and acquisition strategies, especially as fibre connectivity improves nationwide,” he says. “Managed services are expected to grow, driven by requirements to reduce in-house data centre infrastructure costs."

Babatope says machine-to-machine adoption is still limited to just a few Ghanaian cities. “Telcos should invest in creating awareness of the technology's capability to help reduce costs, increase efficiency, and improve productivity. Case studies of successful local implementations should be highlighted.” He adds that those telcos who offer value propositions that solve business challenges rather than merely implementing the latest technology will see far greater success.

The Ghanaian cloud and managed services market is still in its infancy, offering growth opportunities for providers. “Those providers that can make the necessary investments to educate customers about the benefits of these services, based on strong value propositions, stand to harness the most opportunities in the market,” he says.

As is the case in most African countries, the SME segment has long been neglected by telcos and service providers due to their limited budgets, internal IT capabilities and their tendency to seek a quick return on investment.

The growth of mobile money transactions in Ghana will continue, but the trend is expected to extend beyond consumer to consumer (C2C) and, going forward, include business-to-business (B2B) and cross-border remittances.

Ghana’s new government has shown considerable willingness to improve and expand ICT infrastructure in the country. “Ongoing government projects require investments in infrastructure, network and systems integration, data centres, custom software development and support services,” says Babatope. “Concerns relating to bureaucracy and, more specifically, delayed vendor payments, mean that partnerships with the government should be structured for long-term benefits, rather than short-term gains.”

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