Asia’s richest man to launch affordable 5G services in Ghana by late 2024 – Techpoint Africa

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  • The Ghanaian government, in collaboration with Radisys Corporation, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited owned by Mukesh Amban — Asia’s richest man — plans to launch affordable 5G mobile broadband services nationwide by the end of 2024 via the Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC).
  • According to NGIC’s executive director, Harkirit Singh, the company plans to invest $145 million in Ghana’s infrastructure over the next three years.
  • Radisys Corp. will provide critical network infrastructure, applications, and smartphones, making NGIC the first 5G mobile broadband shared infrastructure entity to build a nationwide 4G/ 5G network. Nokia, Tech Mahindra Ltd, and Microsoft Corporation are some of the other partners. 

This move comes two months after the Minister of Communication and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, announced that the country would launch 5G mobile technology in September 2024.

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful emphasised the importance of establishing a shared 5G Mobile Broadband Infrastructure to provide Ghanaians with cost-effective, high-speed data connectivity and achieve the country’s digital vision.

“The creation of NGIC as a neutral, shared platform, accessible to all mobile network operators and tower companies, will help to expand 5G services rapidly across the country. We are inspired by India’s digital infrastructure and low-cost mobile data usage and keen to replicate it in Ghana,” she added.

NGIC, which has been granted a ten-year licence to provide 5G services in Ghana, is 55% owned by two African telecom companies, Ascend Digital Solutions Ltd. and K-NET.  

The company’s licence is valid for a maximum of 15 years. Rather than directly serving customers, it will offer 5G broadband services to Ghana’s mobile operators and internet service providers (ISPs).

The Ghanaian government owns 10% of the company, with the remainder held by local mobile operators and private investors.

With a population of slightly more than 33 million people, Ghana has nearly 24.06 million Internet users, with a penetration rate of roughly 70% as of January 2024. 

The country’s three major telecommunications companies are MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, and the state-run AT Ghana (formerly AirtelTigo). 

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