Business News of 2014-06-24

Zipnet creates a new ICT ecosystem in Ghana

The Executive Director for Strategy and Marketing of Zipnet, Mr Emmanuel Mensah-Baah, has said the company’s awards as ICT Company of the Year and Internet Service Provider of the Year at the 2014 Ghana Telecom awards is due to its wide scope of innovative ICT products and services.

“There are a lot of companies in Ghana providing ICT service. Some provide internet or data connectivity services, some software services, some hardware services, some managed services, some cloud services, some ICT consulting services among others but Zipnet aims to provide the full suite of ICT services, not only for the enterprise market but also for the consumer market,” he added. Giving further details about the Zipnet portfolio of services Mr Mensah-Baah said “Zipnet primarily is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) serving both the enterprise and residential market.

“Its Internet service runs on its own pure end-to-end IP infrastructure, which basically means the network is reliable. Most of our enterprise multi-national customers rely fully on our internet for its operations as they need huge Internet bandwidth which is always on to connect to their head-office platforms outside Ghana”, he said.

He said “In addition to Internet Service, Zipnet also build Wide Area Networks for its enterprise customers who operate from multiple locations in Ghana. For example, we have banks as customers who want their branches and ATM nationwide connected and Oil, Gas and Mining corporate customers that want to connect their operations say in Takoradi, Atuabo or Obuasi with their head-office in Accra.

“Zipnet build private secure IP networks which enable its enterprise customers communicate securely between their various locations of operations using voice, video or data,” he said. Mr Mensah-Baah said “Related to Zipnet connectivity service is its “Cloud” data storage service. Zipnet hosts secure data servers at its data center, which can be accessed by clients from anywhere in the world. We provide hosting services for customers outside Ghana, who trust Zipnet over providers in their own country.”

He said “A common problem for businesses can be figuring out how to integrate technology into their existing operations. To fill this gap, Zipnet provides ICT focused Business Consulting services for its enterprise customers. We get directly involved in the operations of our customers’ business, and help strategize ways of including new technologies to improve the effectiveness of their operations.”

“An outcome of business consulting assignment is the need Zipnet to develop and support customized business software applications for our customers. This is an area will be giving more focus to in the future”, he said. On other future services Zipnet has planned, Mr Mensah-Baah said “Zipnet has a lot coming up for the Ghanaian consumer market to complement its current offering of unlimited and affordable internet for the residential market.”

He said in the near future, the company intends to offer mobile broadband service along with our fixed broadband service. He said most of the current mobile telecom network providers offer 3G services. Zipnet plans to take it a step further and offer 4G Advance LTE mobile broadband services. “Zipnet also plan to start delivering its own entertainment content for its consumer customers. Many of our residential Internet customers subscribe to some sort of online entertainment content, such as Apple TV,” he said.

“However, since the content is outside the Ghana, it can be low-quality due to buffering of the large data that needs to be transmitted. Zipnet plans to start hosting its own entertainment content, so that customers could rely on Zipnet reliable local infrastructure to receive entertainment content such as movies and music,” he said.

“There is demand for consumer cloud services. Zipnet will soon create services for consumers to manage their content photos, videos as well applications easily on Zipnet cloud. This is important for the increasingly internet savvy Ghanaian consumer”, he said. In addition to the company- wide awards, Zipnet leadership was also widely hailed at the Ghana Telecom Awards.

The Executive Chairman of Zipnet, Osei Owusu- Korkor was awarded ICT Entrepreneur of the Year for his vision in development of Zipnet innovative products and services, and his tenacity in maintaining and building Zipnet over the last 10 years in an extremely capital- intensive industry. The Zipnet Executive Director, Ernest Brown, received ICT Personality of the Year award, for his active work in developing ICT in Ghana.

On internet penetration Mr Mensah-Baah said “To fully actualize the potential of the ICT in Ghana and bridge the digital divide, the government should see Internet and data services as a utility services which should be extended to all areas as part of national development.”

“Government can play an important role by participating in the implementation of shared telecom infrastructure to rural or deprived areas in a public private partnership. Sharing cost of infrastructure for low income or difficult to access areas will increase efficiency of Internet and Data service providers as they compete on services which will reduce costs to the consumer and making access to internet a reality for all”, he added.

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