Richard Okyere-Fosu (left), Director-General, NITA, responding to a question at the ATC Infrastructure Industry Forum in Accra. With him are Kenneth Ashigbey (2nd from left), CEO, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications;  Ashutosh Singh (2nd from right), Chief Executive Officer, American Tower Corporation, and another guest. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO
Richard Okyere-Fosu (left), Director-General, NITA, responding to a question at the ATC Infrastructure Industry Forum in Accra. With him are Kenneth Ashigbey (2nd from left), CEO, Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications; Ashutosh Singh (2nd from right), Chief Executive Officer, American Tower Corporation, and another guest. Picture: SAMUEL TEI ADANO

Policy on deployment of 5G Network in the offing

The government is in the process of developing a comprehensive policy for the efficient deployment of the fifth generation (5G) network to support the country’s growing digital economy.

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Towards that, stakeholders are making inputs for the drafting of a document to support the development of the new network which would allow interoperability, supplier diversity and competitiveness.

The key proposal currently being considered for the document is the establishment of a separate entity that would build the infrastructure to provide 5G services to individual mobile network operators (MNOs).

The Director-General of the National Information Technology Agency (NITA), Richard Okyere-Ofosu, who said this in an interview with the media at the telecoms infrastructure stakeholder forum in Accra yesterday, added that under the yet-to-be-completed policy, licences would not be issued to individual MMOs.

“Rather, an entity would be established to build the infrastructure and provide services to the MNOs.

The idea is to create a level playing field for all individual MNOs to secure the 5G services instead of the approach adopted for the 4G where only few of the players had the advantage to secure the network,” he added.

The forum was on the theme: “Fostering partnerships for growth in the Ghanaian telecoms industry.”

The event was an initiative of ATC Ghana, in collaboration with the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications.

Participants shared opinions on issues impacting them and their operations in the country.

Significance

Mr Okyere-Ofosu said the strategy now was to consult all the stakeholders and integrate their inputs into the development of the policy.

He said the aim of the government was to deploy a 5G network or services to support a digital economy to help transform the lives of citizens in the country.

“So it is not a rush to get the service out, but rather to ensure that we have consulted enough to make sure our MNOs are ready for it, Mr Okyere-Ofosu said.  

He added that the policy was being championed by the National Communications Authority (NCA) and other stakeholders.

Situation

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ATC Ghana, Ashutosh Singh, said the country in its current state was not in the position to deploy the 5G network efficiently because there were lots of policy changes required.

“The country seems to be a step away from 5G. Currently only one operator has been able to deploy 4G services and the rest are now catching up.

“And so, I think some work is required to be done on 4G as we plan towards deploying 5G which requires more policy changes,” he added.

The CEO of Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Dr Ken Ashigbey, said it was imperative that stakeholders worked together to address challenges in the sector to enhance connectivity in order to realise the country’s digitalisation agenda.

He said one of the key challenges that impacted the smooth deployment and operations of towers and telecommunications infrastructure was the multitude of requirements imposed on various players within the telecom ecosystem.

Strategic partnership  

For his part, the Board Chairman of NCA, Isaac Osei-Bonsu, called for strategic partnerships among stakeholders for the advancement of the telecommunications industry.

He said that in an industry which was so capital intensive driven by motive human investments, network infrastructure and rapidly evolving, stakeholders must be willing to collaborate to effectively harvest the gains from electronic communications.

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