Reliance Jio’s 5G launch plan faces criticism from opposition in Ghana – The New Indian Express

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NEW DELHI: The venture of Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom service provider in Ghana, faces opposition from country’s parliamentary minority, which has accused the administration of rushing into a “sweetheart deal.”

As per a report, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), in a statement, said Ghanaian government’s plan to launch a 5G network using a company partnering with the Mukesh Ambani-led company is a bad deal for the debt-ridden nation, which needs funds for critical development projects In May 2024, Ghana signed deals with a Jio subsidiary, Tech Mahindra and other vendors to build 4G and 5G infra 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. The minority caucus said Ghana could have generated between $400 million and $500 million upfront if the government had opted for a formal bidding process.

“The NDC caucus in Parliament holds view that at a time that the country is in dire need of forex and non-tax revenue, it is unconscionable that the government will hand over the precious and highly sought-after 5G spectrum of the country to a shell company for a pittance,” the caucus said in the statement.

The government has set an ambitious target to digitally connect the country over next six years. It has a population of just over 33 million, and three main operators: MTN Ghana, Telecel Ghana and AT, which changed its name from AirtelTigo last year after Bharti Airtel Ltd. and Millicom International Cellular SA sold their stakes.

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