Ghana set to roll 5G mobile broadband service -Communication Minister

 Ghana is set to roll out its 5G mobile broadband services as part of mea­sures to propel the country into a fully digitised society by the end of 2030, the Minister of Communi­cation, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, has announced.

The rollout which is scheduled within the next six months would be undertaken by Next-Gen Infraco (NGiC), a consortium specially put together to develop the necessary infrastructure for the rollout.

• Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (fourth from right) and Ms
Fatimatu Abubakar (fourth from left) with heads of agencies
under her ministry after the presser Photo: Ebo Gorman
• Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful (fourth from right) and Ms Fatimatu Abubakar (fourth from left) with heads of agencies
under her ministry after the presser Photo: Ebo Gorman

The consortium comprises Government of Ghana, Ascend Digital, K-NET, Radisys, Nokia and Tech Mahindra and Mobile Network Operators (MNOS) in the country.

Taking her turn at the bi-weekly Minister’s Briefing organised by the Ministry of Information in Accra yesterday, Mrs Owusu-Eku­ful explained that the NGIC was a new shared infrastructure compa­ny, co-promoted by the Govern­ment of Ghana.

She said the landmark partner­ship agreement was signed on Monday, May 27, 2024 in India as part of the agreement, the consor­tium would provide the necessary infrastructure which would serve as a single use for all telecom oper­ators who desire to operate the 5G network.

The Minister explained that the decision to employ this route was borne out of lessons learnt from the roll out of the 4G broad band services.

She said with the 4G ser­vices, government auctioned the spectrum to the highest bidder, however, nine years after its roll out, the country still had 15 per cent penetration.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said as part of the agreement, the shared 4G and 5G infrastructure would be built by Nokia and Radisys, with IT architecture and integration provided by Microsoft and Tech Mahindra.

“This collaboration ensures that we leverage cutting edge world-class expertise and technology to build a robust digital infra­structure. NGIC’s neutral hosting model and Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) offering will accelerate national enablement programmes, reduce the digital divide, optimise capital expenditure, and ensure efficient operating costs while respecting Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) funda­mentals by reducing environmental impact and carbon footprint. This innovative approach will make high-speed, secure, and seamless mobile services accessible to all Ghanaians,” she disclosed.

She said in addition to this, the NGIC network would provide a strong foundation for the gov­ernment to offer new services to the people of Ghana through extended inclusion programmes, e-government applications, and enabling unlimited opportunities for the private sector and the economy to grow. NGIC’s origin is rooted in our national vision of universal access to broadband, delivering citizen-centric services through e-Gov initiatives.

“It is our expectation that the implementation of this will see NGIC democratise mobile,” she said.

The roll-out of the cutting-edge technology she said would not come at any cost to the govern­ment, however, the government would hold not less than 10 per cent shares in the Consortium.

“This shared network infrastruc­ture for 5G represents a strate­gic move to provide affordable, high-speed mobile broadband services, reduce the digital divide, and promote financial inclusion. This initiative is a significant step towards achieving a fully digitised Ghana by 2030. We look forward to the successful deployment of nationwide 4G/5G services and the transformative impact it will have on the lives of Ghanaians,” she emphasised.


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