At the end of December 2015, the total number of mobile voice subscribers had increased from 34,400,153 in November 2015 to 35,008,387, representing a mobile voice penetration rate of 127.63%, compared to Ghana’s estimated population of 27.43million.
For the same period, the total number of mobile data subscribers also increased from 17,728,312 to 18,031,188, representing a total penetration rate of 65.74%.
These were contained in the National Communication Authority’s mobile voice and mobile data market share trends for the month of December 2015.
The mobile voice report showed that all five GSM/3G operators recorded increases in active voice subscriptions, while on the data side four saw increases in subscription, but one, Glo, had a dip in data subs over the period.
On both the voice and data sides, the sole CDMA operator, Expresso lost subscribers as it has been doing for more than a year now.
Market leader keep stretching its lead crossing from 15,950,876 in November 2015 to 16,254,984 subs in December 2015, representing some 1.91% increase, which took MTN’s total market share to 46.43%.
MTN also grew its data subs by 1.85% to 8,634,914 over the period under review, and now commands a mobile data market share of 47.89%.
This year MTN will roll out 4G LTE network and that promises to boost its subscriber base further as more Ghanaians develop taste for better data service and experience.
Vodafone’s mobile voice subscribers increased marginally from 7,526,704 to 7,612,059 at the end of December 2015. This represents a percentage increase of 1.13%. Vodafone’s total market share for December 2015 was 21.74%.
On the data side, Vodafone increased subscribers by some 2.43% from 3,237,643 to 3,316,343 between November end of December 2015, taking its data market share to 18.39%.
Tigo’s voice subscribers increased from 4,786,094 as at November 2015 to 4,850,034 as at the end of December 2015. This represents a percentage increase of 1.34%. Their market share for the month under review was 13.85%.
In terms of mobile data, Tigo grew subscribers from 2,692,510 at the end of November to 2,732,863 as at the end of December 2015. This represents an increase of 1.50%. Their total data market share therefore stood at 15.16%.
Airtel’s also recorded an increase in voice subscribers from 4,684,429 at the end of November 2015 to 4,796,645 as of December 2015 ending, representing a 2.40%, bringing its total market share to 13.70%.
Airtel’s data subscribers increased by 2% from the previous month, as reflected in their total mobile data figure of 2,879,431 subscribers at the end of December 2015. Airtel’s market share for the month of December was 15.97%.
Glo has been struggling for a while now but managed to grow voice subscribers by 3.36% from 1,324,833 at the end of November 2015 to 1,369,402 as at the end of December 2015, but its market share dipped to 3.91%.
Its data subscriber base also fell by as much as 6.53% from 448,762 in November to finish December 2015 with 419,459 data subs. In effect, Glo’s data market share stood at a meager 2.33%.
Glo’s challenges has mainly been due to the closure of some customer service shops and decommissioning for masts in parts of the country. But the company recently changed its Head of Business for the fifth time and has dropped hints of recapitalization.
Expresso’s voice subscriber figures decreased from 127,217 at the end of November 2015 to 125,263 as at the end of December 2015. This represents a percentage decrease of 1.54%. Their total market share for the month under review was 0.36%.
Its data subscriber figures for the month of December were 48,178. This represents a percentage decrease of 1% from November’s subscriber base of 48,567. Their market share for the month under review was 0.27%.
Expresso is still at the cross roads as staff are not even sure if the Sudanese running the company has sold it to another buyer yet.
Reliable sources within the company told this writer that the caretaker Managing Director of the company recently told the staff he had overstayed his welcome in the company because he was appointed to do a specific job and that job is done.
But the mother company Sudatel reported that as of first quarter of 2015 it owned 82% of the Ghana operations. It is still not clear who it has offloaded the remaining 18% shares to.
There is however no record of the current shareholding structure between March 31, 2015 and now.