When I first read the news in today’s edition of The Guardian, I thought, “What?” Then I went online and ran into the same statement on several news sites. Here is the report from DailyNews Online:
Zain, a mobile operator in 22 countries across the Middle East and Africa, yesterday announced the launch of commercial services in Ghana with the inauguration of the first 3.5G network on the continent outside South Africa.
The Guardian reports it in those exact same words – suggesting that the news item was lifted directly from a press release by Zain.
Let us note a few points:
- Zain does not have a South African network, so this statement cannot mean that Zain Ghana is the network’s first 3.5G platform on the continent outside of South Africa
- Both MTN Nigeria and Glomobile have been running commercial 3.5G services since January this year, so it cannot be true that Zain Ghana is the first 3.5G network on the continent outside of South Africa.
- Even Zain Nigeria has had a 3.5G network on ground for many months, though no formal commercial announcement has been made about services on that platform
This is absolutely unacceptable as far as journalism is concerned. It is false and I am not sure how this will be explained away.
Irrefutable FACT: Zain Ghana is not the first 3.5G network on the African continent outside of South Africa.