Nigeria-based Globacom has expanded its services not only with the long-delayed launch of its Glo Mobile Ghana service, but also with a new roaming package that links subscribers in three countries.

The Ghana launch comes four years after being licensed to do business in the country as a GSM operator. Globacom was fined for delaying implementation of its service in Ghana, but Chief Operating Officer George Andah said the delay was meant to ensure a quality of service that would enable the telco to survive competition.

He said the company is starting off with about 1.5 million subscribers who had reserved their lines on the network since January through a special Glo SMS-based platform during its "Reserve Your Number" campaign. The telco has extended indefinitely the period for which people could activate their specially reserved numbers.

The Glo Mobile Ghana network is now the country's sixth telco. It will start its services with a product called "Good day Ghana," which will enable all its subscribers to enjoy free unconditional airtime for 100 days, free calls from midnight to 5 a.m.; a bonus on incoming calls; and an offer to let users call one special person at 2 Ghanaian pounds (US$0.01) per minute.

Globacom, which is Nigeria's second largest operator, has also introduced a new roaming package that would link subscribers in its three African countries of operation -- Nigeria, Benin Republic and Ghana. Called UniWorld, the package will provide Glo subscribers with a uniform local tariff and allow them to use local Glo recharge cards in any of the three countries.

Glo meanwhile is counting on its international submarine cable, the Glo 1, which landed in Accra in September 2009, to bolster its entry and continuous operations in Ghana in the face of stiff competition.

Andah said Glo is starting operations in Ghana with 85 percent coverage, providing service to 974 cities and 10,000 villages.

Shortly after it got its operational license for Ghana in 2008, Globacom announced that it received offers from Gambia and Liberia and is set to acquire operating licences in the two countries. However, with the launch of its Ghana operations, it is not sure when services will be rolled out in other countries.