Ghana is planning to lower internet and data costs by widening the scope of its telecommunication licenses to allow mobile operators access to more spectrum.
Communications Minister-Designate Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, during her reappointment process, said that Ghana currently sells spectrum-specific licenses “and the technology is tied to the spectrum that you can use”
Once the new change is effected, it will not “matter whether its 2G, 3G or 4G spectrum that you have, you can use whatever available technology there is on (your available spectrum) to deliver the service that you want,” she said, in reference to the voice and internet technologies.
Telecommunications companies around the world are pushing governments for flexibility to allow change spectrum without paying high charges. This can be achieved by making spectrum licenses technology and service-neutral.
Ghana’s Covid-19 relief strategy included giving free spectrum and reducing its communication service tax to 5 percent hence reducing data prices. According to Owusu-Ekuful, lower prices will result in more usage, and “so, on economies of scale, the companies will not lose out.”
Ghana’s telecommunications market consists of a unit of Johannesburg-based MTN Group Ltd, a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc, and AirtelTigo.