Ghana’s ISPs Are Dying Out Because The Mobile Web Is Booming

Leo Mirani | Quartz | May 2, 2013

Ghana boasts Africa’s highest penetration of mobile broadband, at 23% of the population in 2011, the latest year for which figures are available. That compares with just 7% in 2010. By contrast, fixed-broadband penetration stood at a negligible 0.3% in 2011, and that’s killing Ghana’s internet service providers (ISPs).

For a time, running an ISP was a trendy thing. Some 150 companies presently have a license, and about 20 are operational. But many of them are finding it hard to stay afloat. Even cyber cafés, many of which are run by ISPs, are beginning to shut down. Ghana’s biggest, which had 100 connections and its own satellite connection, closed in February.

ISPs are now in talks to consolidate. At least two mergers are expected by the end of the year, Eric Osiakwan, who heads Ghana’s ISP association, told Business and Financial Times, a Ghanaian business newspaper. The ones that fail to strike deals will probably fail altogether, he added.