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MTN Ghana Excluded from Ghana’s Shared 5G Infrastructure Initiative

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In a landmark announcement, the Government of Ghana unveiled a strategic partnership with seven industry leaders to introduce affordable 5G mobile broadband services nationwide.

However, notably absent from this collaboration is MTN Ghana, the country’s leading telecommunications provider.

The seven partners comprising Ascend Digital, K-NET, Radisys, Nokia, and Tech Mahindra, along with telcos AT Ghana and Telecel Ghana, have joined forces to establish the Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC). NGIC, equipped with a 5G license, aims to launch 5G services across Ghana within the next six months, marking a significant milestone in the nation’s digital advancement.

The partnership envisions enhancing the lives of Ghanaians by introducing digital services in education, healthcare, and digital payment transactions, thereby bridging the digital divide and promoting financial inclusion. Additionally, NGIC plans to adopt India’s successful model of affordable handsets, digital platforms, and localized content to replicate high-speed mobile data access across Africa.

MTN’s absence from this initiative has sparked questions, given its substantial market share in Ghana’s telecommunications sector. Despite MTN’s previous announcement of readiness to roll out 5G services, regulatory constraints prevented its implementation, raising concerns about market imbalances.

While MTN Ghana is reportedly engaged in separate discussions with the government regarding its 5G strategy, the exclusion from the shared infrastructure arrangement signifies a significant development in Ghana’s telecommunications landscape. Nevertheless, MTN’s existing national roaming arrangements with Telecel Ghana and AT Ghana ensure continued service provision to its customers.

The move towards shared infrastructure aligns with broader discussions around digital public infrastructure (DPI) and the imperative of collaboration to drive accelerated development in Africa. Therefore, it is anticipated that MTN will eventually join the shared 5G infrastructure initiative to facilitate concerted development efforts.

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