Mukesh Ambani's Reliance to Tap into Africa's Mobile Broadband Sector

Mukesh Ambani is reportedly planning to enter Africa's telecommunications market to attract mobile broadband users in the rapidly growing sector
Mukesh Ambani
Mukesh Ambani

Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in Asia having roots in almost every industry, is now planning to venture into Africa with a telecommunications project. As per a report by Bloomberg, Reliance is aiming to attract mobile broadband users in a rapidly growing market.

Backed by the conglomerate, Radisys Corp. will play a key role by providing network infrastructure, applications, and smartphones for Ghana-based Next-Gen InfraCo. Harkirit Singh, the executive director of NGIC, outlined these plans prior to NGIC's official launch scheduled for Monday in Mumbai.

NGIC is reportedly set to launch operations by the end of this year by offering 5G broadband services to mobile operators and internet service providers in Ghana.

Affordability will play an important role here as the plan is largely based on providing digital services in emerging markets.

NGIC's partners will include Nokia Oyj, Tech Mahindra Ltd., and Microsoft Corp. The latter has been increasingly focusing on the telecommunications sector following its acquisition of two cloud networking companies in 2020.

Ghana is based in the West African region and has a population of roughly 33 million people. The country has three main operators in the telecom space, MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, and state-run AirtelTigo. As of now, NGIC holds Ghana’s only 5G license. This will enable the company to build large-scale broadband services, "a huge expense for individual mobile carriers," according to Singh.

Ascend Digital Solutions Ltd. and K-NET collectively hold a majority stake of 55 per cent in the new company. The Ghanaian government's ownership in NGIC stands at just under 10 per cent, whereas local mobile operators and private investors maintain the remaining shares. 

As per the report, NGIC has the exclusive rights to provide 5G services in Ghana for a decade. However, its license is valid for 15 years.

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