The Ghana Smart Cities Project has been given an official go-ahead after last year’s provisional authorization.
Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) has granted full nationwide authorisation to Celltel Networks Limited, a wholly-owned Ghanaian company acting as an internet and public data service provider, to roll out the project, at an estimated cost of $300 million, in collaboration with various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies across the country.
The NCA announcement says that Celltel “is authorized to use 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz bands nationwide and VSAT Network Class 3 (1-49 terminals) nationwide to provide access to its clients”.
According to the local news site GhanaWeb, Celltel will need to start operations within two years of getting a written go-ahead. The company is also required to pay an annual fee on 20 June every year to keep the authorisation active.
The eventual aim is to offer affordable subscription Wi-Fi packages. The project promises a nationwide Wi-Fi service that would come with Celltel-branded smart handheld desktop and home devices for subscribers.
Celltel has apparently already done preliminary work with strategic partners to install infrastructure and manufacture devices. Collaboration on co-location and infrastructure sharing are part of the rollout plans. There have also been pilots of the Wi-Fi service.
As well as the subscription service, Celltel’s offering promises to provide specific solutions for health, education, security, religious and other institutions across the country, working with identifiable groups to provide tailor-made packages to suit their needs.