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Mukesh Ambani sets sight on Africa with new 'affordable' telecom venture in Ghana: Report
Mukesh Ambani
File image from Wallpaper Cave

Mukesh Ambani sets sight on Africa with new 'affordable' telecom venture in Ghana: Report

| @indiablooms | 27 May 2024, 01:23 pm

Mumbai/IBNS: Mukesh Ambani, the chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, is taking his giant-killer telecom playbook to Africa as the billionaire seeks to focus on mobile broadband customers in the continent.

According to a report by Bloomberg, a unit of Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Industries Ltd.- Radisys Corp- will provide key network infrastructure, applications and smartphones for Ghana-based Next-Gen InfraCo (NGIC).

Bloomberg reported, citing NGIC's executive director Harkirit Singh that the plans will be announced soon officially as the company will start operations by the end of 2024.

Singh said that NGIC, which is "based on a premise of building affordable digital services in emerging markets", will provide 5G broadband services to mobile operators and internet services providers in Ghana.

As per the Bloomberg report, NGIC's partners include Nokia Oyj, Tech Mahindra Ltd. and Microsoft Corp.

MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana and state-run AirtelTigo are the three main operators in Ghana.

NGIC's executive director Harkirit Singh said that the company's strategic partners, its technological prowess and the company’s possession of Ghana’s only 5G license will help it build broadband services at scale which is a huge expense for individual mobile carriers.

Singh said two African telecoms firms, Ascend Digital Solutions Ltd. and K-NET, hold a combined stake of 55 percent in the new company, while the Ghana government will own just under 10 percent of NGIC.

"NGIC has the exclusive right to offer 5G services in Ghana for a decade and the company’s capital expenditure for three years is $145 million," he added.

In a statement, Ghana’s Minister for Communications and Digitalization Ursula Owusu-Ekuful said that NGIC will provide “affordable mobile broadband services and devices to the people of Ghana, replicating the success of India’s low-cost mobile data revolution."

NGIC's executive director said that none of the strategic partners, including Reliance, currently own any equity in NGIC.

“First we have to be successful to show the value that we create before they come in. That’s the discussion we’re having with them,” Harkirit Singh explained.

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