Presenting the government’s budget statement to parliament yesterday, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, said the country had 10,522,240 fixed line and mobile users at the end of 2008, with growth attributed to the cellular sector. The total mobile base has increased from 383,000 in 2002 to 10,242,916 at the end of last year he said, whilst the fixed line total dropped from 389,483 to 279,324. Dr Duffuor attributed the fall to the removal of ‘dormant’ subscribers from Ghana Telecom’s fixed line network, and said that cellular growth was the result of ‘the creation of an enabling environment and the positive sustenance of competition in the sector’.
Dr Duffuor said that in order to promote a wider penetration of ICT services, the Ministry of Communications has facilitated the transformation of Voltacom’s fibre-optic assets into a National Communications Backbone Infrastructure network to provide open access broadband connectivity nationwide. Furthermore, 39 Common Telecom Facilities were completed last year which enabled telecom operators to extend their services to about 273 communities under the Ghana Investment Fund for Telecommunication development (GIFTEL).