Ghana: MTN, Vodafone sign national roaming agreement
MTN Ghana and Vodafone Ghana have entered into a partnership to pilot national roaming in the Volta region, and describe the development as a first step to a broader nationwide national roaming alliance.
The companies released a statement which affirmed that under the agreement and pilot phase, Vodafone Ghana will expand coverage of its network by leveraging MTN’s network infrastructure.
Ghana’s government is prioritising national roaming implementation to facilitate universal access and accelerate the country’s digital economy ambitions. The plan is to establish a full national roaming regime amongst all operators in the country.
Patricia Obo-Nai, CEO of Vodafone Ghana said, “The implementation of national roaming will enable Vodafone Ghana customers to stay connected in areas outside our current locations of coverage. This is especially important for rural communities as national roaming invariably provides a greater choice of network providers. We believe strongly that the collaboration in the Volta Region is a positive step, and working together with the Government, the regulator and MTN Ghana, we look forward to extending the national roaming service beyond the Volta Region in due course.”
CEO of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, added: “This agreement is a milestone for the industry and is in line with our Ambition 2025 strategic intent of “Leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress. MTN fully supports the government’s national roaming plans. We acknowledge that national roaming will extend network coverage for Ghanaians nationwide and support the growth of the Ghana Telecommunications industry. Our Engineers have worked tirelessly to test and develop solutions to various challenges encountered along the journey and we are excited about what lies ahead in this partnership with Vodafone Ghana.”
MTN and Vodafone added that the outcome of the pilot “would be instrumental in the development of the next phase of the partnership to cover more complex technical configurations for nationwide roaming on either network.”
The companies said they would update the market in due course.
In early March MTN pledged at least US$1-billion into telecommunication infrastructure in Ghana over the next five years.
It added that it would interconnect with rival operators in the West African nation for roaming and airtime distribution.
Interconnection has been a key theme across many African markets and considered a solution for poorly serviced areas that would benefit from infrastructure sharing and cross connections of platforms and systems between operators.
There have been several national roaming agreements that have been secured in regions across Africa.
In mid-April MTN Cameroon and Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel) have signed a strategic national network roaming agreement which will see Camtel expand 2G/3G and 4G coverage in areas of Cameroon which are not already covered by its network.
Back in November 2021, MTN Namibia and network operator Paratus entered into a partnership to interconnect on LTE internet roaming services across the country.
The agreement will also allow Paratus and MTN Namibia “to expand their own networks” with neither operator needing to duplicate mobile coverage in specific areas.
Paratus launched Mobile LTE services in Namibia in 2016 and says it has been expanding its coverage beyond Walvis Bay and other major corridors including Swakopmund, Okahandja, Rehoboth and Otjiwarongo.