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Shared 5G Infrastructure Reflects NDC’s 2020 Manifesto Goals

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The recent initiative by the Ghanaian government to establish a shared digital public infrastructure (DPI) for the accelerated rollout of 4G and 5G networks aligns with promises made in the National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2020 Manifesto, specifically in section 8.6 on page 98.

This government initiative, in partnership with seven local and international private sector companies, aims to create a unified 4G and 5G network accessible to all industry players. The collaboration has led to the formation of Next-Gen Infrastructure Company (NGIC), tasked with deploying the nationwide 5G network within six months. The partners include Nokia, Tech Mahindra, Radisys, K-NET, Ascend Digital, AT Ghana, and Telecel Ghana, with MTN Ghana expected to join soon.

Historically, successive governments have often discarded their predecessors’ policies, leading to inefficiencies and additional costs. However, in the interest of public funds and the progress of the telecom industry, Techfocus24 examined the NDC’s 2020 manifesto to understand their stance on 5G rollout.

In their 2020 manifesto, the NDC committed to:

  • Leading Ghana and Africa into the 5G era (subsection b).
  • Building a National Information Highway using 5G and fibre optic technologies through public-private partnerships (subsection l).
  • Implementing an affordable universal licensing regime for 5G (subsection n).

These commitments closely resemble the current government’s approach, including the formation of NGIC and ensuring affordable spectrum access for service providers. The NGIC’s licensing fee, over US$100 million, will be paid in installments over ten years, benefiting future governments from 2025 onwards.

Reliable sources indicate that the NDC supports the shared infrastructure regime for 4G/5G rollout, suggesting they are unlikely to abandon this progressive policy if they come to power in 2024. This continuity is crucial for the steady advancement of Ghana’s telecom sector.

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