Industry giants form 5G-focused Ghana JV – Mobile World Live

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Reliance Industries-owned Radisys, Tech Mahindra and Nokia partnered with the Ghanaian government and local entities to form a telecoms infrastructure JV designed to introduce affordable 5G services to the country, with plans to expand to other African markets.

Partners on the JV, dubbed the Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC), also include MNOs Telecel Ghana and AT Ghana, as well as local telecoms services provider K-NET and Ascend Digital Solutions. In a joint statement, the partners explained NGIC has been awarded a 5G spectrum licence by the Ghanaian authorities, putting them on course to launch services by end of this year.

Ascend Digital Solutions and K-NET owns a combined 55 per cent stake in NGIC, with the Ghanaian government holding just under 10 per cent. The remaining shares are owned by private investors and local MNOs. Reliance and other strategic partners currently do not own equity in the company.

There is a plan to “leverage India’s successful model of affordable handsets, digital platform, localised content and applications”, alongside launching budget 4G and 5G-enabled smartphones and broadband equipment.

Local digital services for healthcare, education and finance will also be introduced to help close the digital divide and enhance the lives of Ghanaians, the partners said.

Ghana’s minister for communications and digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said the government is “inspired by India’s digital infrastructure and low-cost mobile data usage and keen to replicate it in Ghana”, noting the establishment of the shared infrastructure JV was fundamental to this goal.

In an interview with Bloomberg, executive director at NGIC Harkirit Singh said the new company builds “on a premise of building affordable digital services in emerging markets”.

Last year, Reliance Jio introduced low-cost 4G handsets to help narrow India’s connectivity gap.

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