MTN In Discussions To Be Part Of 5G Public Network Infrastructure – Ghana Minister of Communication

5G service is confirmed to go live in September

By Joseph-Albert Kuuire 3 Min Read
Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu

In an interview with Citi Breakfast, a local morning radio show in Ghana, the Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Ursula Owusu, answered a range of questions including the recent 5G public network infrastructure deal signed with Next-Gen Smart Infraco as well as other topics including Surfline, 5G rollout in Ghana, and taxing social media networks in Ghana

5G Rollout and Roadmap

According to the minister, the operation of 5G service is set to go live in September. All the major telcos including Telecel, AT Ghana, and MTN are expected to offer 5G services to their customers.

In addition, the minister stated that in their deal with Next Gen Infraco, they expect 80% 5G coverage in Ghana in the next three years.

MTN Not Excluded From 5G Public Network Infrastructure

In questions about MTN’s participation (or lack thereof) in the recent 5G public infrastructure conversations, the minister stated that MTN will be involved in partaking in the public network infrastructure for 5G and discussions are currently being finalized.

In addition, all telecom networks will have equity in the public 5G network if they choose to participate.

The current list of companies announced in the initial announcement of participating in the 5G public infrastructure were Ascend Digital, K-NET, Radisys, Nokia, Tech Mahindra, AT Ghana, and Telecel Ghana.

Surfline, Other 4G Providers Confirmed To Have Exited

In May 2023, Surfline Ghana seemingly abruptly shut down services in Ghana. The shutdown was rumored to be attributed to the high cost of operations and debts that the company could not pay to its vendors and other service providers.

The Minister confirmed that the company had shut down and had started to liquidate its assets.

In questions related to whether consumers who had purchased services from Surfline before they shut down would be compensated, the minister stated that the company would most likely first pay its outstanding debts to vendors and tower operators before eventually compensating consumers.

Unfortunately, the timeline for that compensation is not certain.

Taxing Social Media Companies

The Minister answered questions on the topic of international social media companies and the issue of taxation.

The Minister reiterated her position that companies including X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, and TikTok, should be paying taxes for leveraging the services of local networks like MTN and Telecel.

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Joseph-Albert Kuuire is the creator, editor, and journalist at Tech Labari. Email: Twitter: @jakuuire
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