Airtime sales peak as crowds attend funeral
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Ten of thousands of mourning Ghanaians from the length and breath of the country, and the international community both within and outside the West African sub region, thronged to Accra’s Independence Square on Friday to bid the late President H.E Prof. John Evans Atta Mills farewell as he was laid to rest at the Geese Park in Accra.
Telco operators, as part of their contributions to ensure a smooth communications flow within the three-day period of the funeral rites, stepped up promotions that allowed subscribers to enjoy free talk time within certain time frames.
While they mourn with all Ghanaians, the telco industry geared up, doing brisk business at Independence Square, where the mortal remains of the late president were laid for the last public viewing by international dignitaries, including US secretary of state Hillary Clinton and 16 African heads of states.
Call cards of all the six telcos, especially MTN, Vodafone, Tigo and Airtel, were in high demand at the funeral grounds, with some even being sold at higher prices because of the shortage in availability.
According to one retail agent operating opposite one of the Stadium Gates close to Independence Square, business was really booming for her. She said her call cards had run out because demand had shot up in the last three days .
BiztechAfrica also spotted vans of some of the telco companies replenishing stocks of their retail agents at the funeral ground on Friday.
Telco companies like Vodafone and Airtel whose official colour, red, blends with the mourning cloths of the occasion, were highly visible as their sales agents were spotted all around the venue grounds.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s largest network operator, MTN, introduced a two minutes talk time promotion which was created to celebrate the life of Prof. JEA Mills. Subscribers of the network were to use the free talk time remember the achievements, dedication and humility that he left behind as a legacy for Ghanaians.