Reliance Industries Ltd Initiates New Affordable Telecom Venture in Ghana

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Mukesh Ambani, the business magnate behind Reliance Industries Ltd., is poised to enter the African market with a significant telecoms venture. Through Radisys Corp, a unit of Reliance Industries, Ambani will provide crucial network infrastructure, applications, and smartphones to Ghana-based Next-Gen InfraCo (NGIC). This move is part of Ambani’s strategy to focus on mobile broadband customers.

NGIC, with its strategic partners including Nokia Oyj, Tech Mahindra Ltd., and Microsoft Corp, aims to offer 5G broadband services to mobile operators and internet services providers in Ghana. The company’s executive director, Harkirit Singh, emphasized that NGIC is built on the premise of providing affordable digital services in emerging markets.

Ghana, with its three main operators – MTN Ghana, Vodafone Ghana, and state-run AirtelTigo – presents a significant opportunity for NGIC. Singh highlighted that the company’s strategic partners, technological capabilities, and possession of Ghana’s only 5G license will enable it to build broadband services at scale, a significant expense for individual mobile carriers.

Notably, two African telecoms firms, Ascend Digital Solutions Ltd. and K-NET, hold a combined stake of 55% in NGIC, while the Ghana government will own just under 10% of the company. NGIC has the exclusive right to offer 5G services in Ghana for a decade, with a capital expenditure of $145 million over three years. The company plans to begin operations by the end of this year, marking a significant milestone in Ambani’s African telecoms venture.

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