Vodafone vandalised underground cable under repairs
Vodafone Ghana has been hit by a massive copper cable theft in the Madina resulting in a loss of voice and internet services to consumers, businesses and the wider community throughout the Madina-Adenta area.
A statement of the company said about one kilometer (1km) of cable that lay between Adenta trotro station and SSNIT flats junction has been stolen and replacement and repairs would cost at least GHC200,000.
It said network outage will also take approximately three weeks to repair, so service to some 450 customers would not be available throughout that period.
“Since August 2012, over 15,500 Fixed Broadband customers have been left without internet service as a result of 186 cable theft incidents all over the country,” the statement said, adding that Vodafone experienced the highest number of cable thefts in a single month in December when it reported 47 cable thefts in areas such as Korle Bu, Madina, Accra High Street, Cantonments, Kasoa, East Legon and Tema.
It said those thefts left thousands of customers and businesses including government agencies, banks and schools without voice or internet service for days and sometimes weeks.
The telco said 25% of fixed broadband faults reported were as a result of cable theft, adding that last year alone Vodafone Ghana lost GHC5m replacing stolen cables in order to restore service to the thousands of customers affected.
It noted that the situation is not only affecting Vodafone but its customers too in the form of loss of revenue due to non-availability of voice and internet service.
“Vodafone Ghana is therefore working with a range of stakeholders including the security agencies, to initiate a campaign to stamp out cable theft,” the statement said.
The statement quoted Vodafone Ghana Head of External Affairs Nana Yaa Ofori Atta as saying ‘we have intensified our campaign to catch those responsible for cable theft, who cause disruption not just to our customers, but to the local community. We are working with the Police at the highest level to make sure that we have the right resources to fight this.”
Organised crime suspected
Nana Yaa Ofori-Atta
Ms Ofori-Atta said Vodafone suspects organised crime and they would leave no stone unturned to bring the culprits to justice.’
She also urged the public to assist the company to curb the crime, saying that the most important people in the battle were members of the various communities.
“A lot of these incidents occur in broad daylight or at very odd hours in the night and we need anyone who sees anything they feel is suspicious to call the Police on 18555 or call 155 on their Vodafone line to speak to a member of our security department 24/7,” she urged.
She said Vodafone has had great co-operation from members of the public in the past and they need more of that to win the anti-cable theft fight, adding that there could be rewards for such assistance.
“In the last quarter of 2012, four members of the public were rewarded for providing information which led to the arrest and prosecution of cable thieves in the Tema and Mile 7 area,” she said.
Vodafone is the second largest telco in Ghana subscriber, and the leading fixed voice and broadband service provider in the country.