Reliance Jio arm, Tech Mahindra bag orders from Ghana for building 4G, 5G telecom infrastructure – The Hindu

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Ghana has signed deals with a Reliance Jio subsidiary, Tech Mahindra, and other vendors to build 4G and 5G infrastructure as the African country aims to enhance its telecom capabilities.

Ghana’s state-backed Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC) has partnered with Jio’s arm Radisys, Tech Mahindra and Nokia to build the necessary infrastructure for delivering affordable 5G mobile broadband services.

India a ‘strategic choice’

Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, the West African country’s Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, told reporters in Mumbai that India was a “strategic choice” due to its similar demographics and Ghana wants to replicate the Indian story on telecom penetration.

“Your (India’s) demographics are just like us, the Jio model was rolled out just a few years ago, so the learnings are still fresh,” she added.

NGIC has been allocated 5G spectrum and local telcos will be utilising the shared infrastructure to roll out the services in the next six months. As per reports, the overall contract is over $200 million.

Ms. Owusu-Ekuful said Ghana is a part of the 33-nation Smart Africa alliance, and other countries in the continent will be closely watching the rollout to see whether they can also emulate the same locally.

When pointed out that Indian vendors have not executed such deals in the past and why Ghana chose them over the Chinese suppliers, she said, “It was a strategic choice for us. We don’t want to get caught up in any of the geopolitics that is currently going on. We want what is the best for our national interest.”

“Ghana wants to leverage India’s experience in the field,” she added.

Speaking on the deal, Radisys’ Chief Executive Arun Bhikshesvaran said, “Our communications platform and digital applications will help create new digital experiences that empower the Ghanaian community and foster sustainable and inclusive development.”

A statement said the lives of Ghanaians will be enhanced across various spheres including education, healthcare, and digital payments through the modern telecom network.

The Ghana’s minister said the country is looking at both the 4G and 5G networks, and also satellite connectivity to deepen its telecom penetration, and added that it is in talks with Elon Musk’s Starlink for the latter.

Jio’s rival in the local market Bharti Airtel is one of the most prominent mobile network operators in the African continent.

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