ACCRA, Dec 16 – Zain, the leading mobile operator in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa on Monday announced the launch of commercial services in Ghana with the launch of the first 3.5G network on the continent outside South Africa.
Zain Ghana\’s network will offer its customers ultra high-speed internet access and for the first time in Ghana, the ability to make video-calls and use rich multimedia content including the ability to send video clips, music and pictures at the touch of a button.
"Zain\’s 3.5G network will give Ghanaians a new lifestyle option. Today marks the launch in the country\’s capital city, Accra with Zain having invested over $420 million to date in rapidly rolling out the network across the country," the company said in a statement.
With the launch, Ghana brings the number of countries in which \’One Network\’ operates to 17.
The \’One Network\’ borderless mobile service is available to over half a billion people across the Middle East and Africa – an area greater than the United States of America.
The service offers Zain customers favourable rates, free of roaming surcharges for cross-border communications.
Ghanaian Zain customers can access the \’One Network\’ service when travelling in Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Niger, Tanzania and Uganda with plans to be fully operational in all other \’One Network\’ countries by the end of the year.
Announcing the launch Zain Group CEO Dr Saad Al Barrak said, "We welcome Ghana to the Zain family. Ghana is important to Zain and we have invested heavily in bringing the latest technology to create the best network in West Africa. Through our pan-African presence and synergies in human resources, technologies, marketing and best business practices we assure the people of Ghana they will receive world-class telecommunication services."
With Zain Ghana joining the \’One Network\’, Mr Chris Gabriel, CEO of Zain Africa added that "With thousands of people crossing Ghana borders daily from Burkina Faso and other Zain \’One Network\’ countries such as Nigeria and Niger, the One Network service will have a positive socio-economic impact on many as affordable cross-border communications offers the opportunity for loved ones to stay in touch, as well being an impetus in stimulating economic activity, improving the livelihoods of many communities."
Prior to the launch, Zain Ghana undertook a highly successful pre-registration campaign allowing aspiring customers to be the first recipients of a Zain mobile number.
The operation will have numerous customer contact points including walk-in centres that will be open until 8pm and call centres which are open 24 hours, seven days a week. The state-of-the-art call centre will offer service in English and two of the most widely spoken local groups of languages in West Africa, Akan and Hausa.
Philip Sowah, Country Manager for Zain Ghana commented: "Customers are the driving force behind the organisation therefore customer care is one of the key pillars of Zain. Our goal is to focus on offering them appealing products, with a level of service that is second to none. Zain personnel have undergone extensive training in many areas and we are all keenly looking forward to the challenges ahead".
Corporate Social Responsibility
Speaking at the launch Chris Gabriel, Zain\’s CEO for Africa said: "In Ghana we are dedicated to partnering with the communities in which we operate to develop them. We will be working towards improving education through our Build Our Nation programme which we run in all the other African countries in which we operate. Under this we donate books and educational supplies to government owned schools. We will also be investing in sponsoring Ghana\’s passion of music and culture."
Zain is a key contributor to the Millennium Villages Project, an initiative which aims to help Ghana achieve its Millennium Development Goals.
Zain will provide the technology to build a telecommunications network in the Millennium village in Bonsaaso in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region.
This initiative brings mobile telephony and internet access to over 400,000 people in remote areas of Africa to enable them to improve the quality of their lives.
The Zain brand is wholly owned by Mobile Telecommunications Company KSC, which is listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange. The company had a market capitalisation of over $23.4 billion as at September 30, 2008.