Collaborate with partners to meet digital demands for 5G connectivity - Mr Ashigbey

Mr. Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT), has urged government and the private sector to work- hand-in-hand to enable Ghana to meet the increasing digital demands for 5G connectivity.

He said the digital industry was evolving and it was important for Ghana to catch up with the 5G connectivity, which some developed and developing countries were already working with for effective operations.

He made the call at the telecoms infrastructure stakeholder forum on Tuesday in Accra, on the theme: "Fostering Partnerships for Growth in The Ghanaian Telecoms Industry."

Mr Ashigbey said for easy access and quick implementation of 5G connectivity, "we must create a portal which can be accessed by agencies and institutions for easy identification of challenges and find solutions to them."

He said one key challenge hindering technology advancement were cost, delays in funds and the addiction to working manually. He said that when these problems were solved it would advance technology innovation in the country.

He discouraged the use of underground fibers since it can be cut by individuals or be distracted during road constructions.

"We must use airier cables to allow good flow of connection and be distraction-free from individuals or companies."

Mr Richard Okyere-Fosu, Director General of National Information Technology Agency (NITA), said there was the need to build a stronger computing infrastructure to speed up digital and intelligent transformation across industries and integrate the development of digitalization.

He urged stakeholders to leverage on the fibers of the Electricity Company of Ghana and GRIDCO for transmissions, adding that the two companies had powerful fibers for stronger connectivity.

Speaking on 5G connectivity, Mr Fosu said the 5G connectivity would be neutral, it would not be given to a particular company to run it but rather be given to a third private company to enable other small businesses and firms also get access to 5G network.

He urged ICT institutions not to work in silos but rather communicate and provide services for effect outcomes.

"We must desist from working in silos and work in teams, he added.

He urged academia and industries to work together for better and quality rendering of services.

"They must practice what they learn and also industries must partner to pinpoint particular areas for mastering", he said.

Mr Ashutosh Singh, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), American Tower Corporation Ghana (ATC), said government must create and effectively implement policy framework to ensure Ghana attain its full digitalization economy.

He said some major challenges hindering deployment and operation of towers, included land acquisition, different permitting processes and long timelines, community issues of siting towers in localities, and high taxation and regulatory requirements.

However, he said the only way the objectives of the country's digitization agenda could be achieved was a collaboration between industry and government, a deeper understanding of the challenges that hinder infrastructure deployment and chart ways to foster partnerships for growth of telecoms industry.

He said Ghana could achieve its 5G prosperity dream if it built a digital Africa through inclusive services, networks, infrastructure and partnerships.

He assured that ATC would continue to partner with the government and private sector to improve network connectivity and access through the expansion of services to facilitate the digital transformation.

The CEO said: "With the oncoming of 5G and as technology continues to advance, deeper collaboration is required to incentivize and facilitate infrastructure deployment to enable seamless connectivity."

Source: GNA