Players within the telecom industry say Expresso Telecom risks folding up if it fails to find an investor soon.
According to telecom analyst, Fouad Chalabi, that the lack of change in technology from Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) to Global System for Mobile communication (GSM), is also a contributing factor to the difficulties the company is facing.
His comment comes after the industry regulator; the National Communications Authority (NCA) hinted to Citi Business News it will be meeting the management of Expresso to review the company’s operations due to its growing financial and operational challenges.
The development has also reduced Expresso’s market share to just about 0.36%.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Fouad Chalabi indicated that the company risks folding up if it does not find a strategic investor to revamp its operations,
“The telecom sector in Ghana is very competitive and with technology evolving by the day, you need a lot of investments in order to keep your market share. But I think because of the choice of technology, the company has faced certain challenges with the (CDMA) that they have installed … with the introduction of 4G, if you do not keep up with investing into your existing business, it will disappear.” He stated.
On how the potential investor could deal with current technological changes within the industry to enable the company remain relevant, Fouad Chalabi explained,
“The dominant technology that is widely used in Africa is the GSM. As such any business that is entering the market should invest in its operations. But for you to use CDMA on your own, you must have big muscles because anything that you do might have an impact on the subscribers.”
The woes of Expresso have in the past affected its operation with some of its competitors; MTN and Airtel.
The two companies had been compelled to block calls from Expresso over unpaid debts under the Interconnect Clearing House(ICH).
In what appeared to be an unending feud, the industry regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA) recommended that subscribers of Expresso port to other networks.
Association with Sudatel
Expresso’s challenges have largely been attributed to its affiliation with Sudatel from Sudan which has made difficult for Expresso to raise capital locally and internationally due to sanction placed by the UN on Sudan.
Also moves by Sudatel to sell its shares in Expresso in 2013/2014, granted former National Security Coordinator, Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey (Retired) the power of attorney to run the telecommunications company.
By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana