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Ghana secures OpenRAN agreement with Parallel Wireless

Ghana , 29 Apr 2020
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and Parallel Wireless have partnered to provide mobile telephony connectivity to rural communities.
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) and Parallel Wireless have partnered to provide mobile telephony connectivity to rural communities.

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has partnered with US-based open radio access network (OpenRAN) company Parallel Wireless to provide mobile telephony connectivity to under-served and unserved communities in Ghana.

The partnership will enable Ghana to leverage Parallel Wireless’ software-defined end-to-end OpenRAN solutions to expand telecoms coverage and capacity.

GIFEC is a Universal Access Service Fund (UASF) set up p by the government of Ghana under the Electronic Communications Act 2008 (Act 775), with the aim of providing telecommunications and ICT services to unserved, under-served and deprived groups and communities in the country.

Despite Ghana’s competitive telecommunications market, about 1020 communities are still without mobile signals, according to GIFEC. This has been attributed to the high cost of setting up and operating traditional 2G, 3G or 4G networks in the affected communities. It added that the hardware-based networks are difficult and pricey to upgrade.

By partnering with Parallel Wireless, GIFEC will be able to adopt open, software-based, and virtualised OpenRAN network architectures to deliver scalable 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G software-based networks.

Abraham Kofi Asante, Administrator for GIFEC, said: “This partnership focuses on enabling connectivity for end users and many verticals including transportation, health, education, security, defense and banking services. The result would be faster time-to-market for these wireless offerings and better customer engagement. The ultimate objective of this project is to achieve 100% mobile telephone service coverage throughout Ghana by working in close partnership with the mobile network operators.”

Christoph Fitih, Sales Director, Africa at Parallel Wireless, added: “UASF is building an ecosystem to enable digital transformation to support government and private sector goals and we are excited to help them to achieve their mission. This project will ultimately open up our communities for development and economically empower the people. It will attract tourists, knowing that they will not be entirely cut off from the rest of the world because of poor network services when they visit.”

The financial details of the agreement were not disclosed and the timeline is expected to be communicated quickly, given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on movement.

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