The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has rolled out 54 Rural Telephony Project (RTP) sites to help extend the coverage of wireless mobile telephone services to rural communities nationwide.

A statement signed by Ms Veronica Commey, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager, GIFEC, said all 54 sites are currently operational.

The project, which is being undertaken in collaboration between GIFEC, Ericson and mobile telecommunications giants MTN, cost $12 million.

GIFEC in collaboration with Ericson and MTN earlier in the year signed a Memorandum of Understanding to construct 55 sites using the GIFEC model and a further 25 sites under the GIFEC Satellite HUB project launched in Accra last week.

GIFEC spearheaded the acquisition of land permits, while MTN is the service provider with Ericsson supplying the infrastructure and maintenance support.

The construction of the masts under the project will help improve the communication coverage in the country.

The ultimate objective of the project is to achieve virtually 100 per cent mobile telephone service coverage throughout the country, and to also increase telephone subscribership to as many citizens as possible.

The purpose of the Rural Telephony Project is to extend the coverage of wireless mobile telephone services as far as possible into all areas of the country where access to such services is not adequately available, and where existing licensed operators have proven unwilling or unable to expand their networks, due to commercial, geographical or other constraints.

The project required the installation and operation of appropriate network and infrastructure although the precise configurations for each location and project were technology-neutral and determined on a case-by- case basis.

The criteria for the site selection and implementation of the RTP project include a formal request by the communities or villages with no existing services from the operators, communities with population of one thousand (1,000) or more, areas where the Mobile Network Operators (MNO), would ordinarily not go but yet need connectivity and through requests from relevant stakeholders.

Source: GNA

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