The Ghanaian government revealed plans to build a shared 4G and 5G network with operators and private investors, mirroring the Malaysian government’s strategy, as part of broader plans to build Ghana’s digital economy.
Ghana Web reported that Minister of Communication and Digitalisation Ursula Owusu-Ekuful announced the plans for a neutral shared network, to enable mobile services that are delivered through 4G and 5G spectrum.
Owusu-Ekuful said the government will not hold an auction for 5G airwaves but will instead assign spectrum to operators to extend internet coverage across Ghana.
“We have just been granted approval to have a neutral shared infrastructure along these lines, we’ll be working with network operators and private investors to set up a 4G and 5G network as well, so we are not going to be auctioning 5G, we are giving it to this networks so that all operators can use it and extend it to about 80% of the population,” said Owusu-Ekuful.
The minister also added the government approved the landing of two African submarine cables to make internet access more affordable. Ghana will have a total of seven submarine cables, reported Ghana Web.
Malaysia employed a similar strategy by creating a 5G wholesaler company, Digital Nasional Berhad. This it argued will save deployment costs long-term and deliver faster speeds and wider coverage. However, the strategy saw delays as operators pushed back and did not immediately sign access deals, as rival operators in other Asian nations launched commercial 5G services.