Vodafone Ghana awarded provisional 4G license for US$30m

By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana

Ghana’s third leading network operator by market share Vodafone has been awarded with a 2x5MHz frequency spectrum block in the 800 MHz Band for mobile service by the National Communications Authority (NCA).

Vodafone Ghana now joins industry leader MTN as the only two telcos with licenses to rollout 4G services in the country.

A statement issued in Accra on Wednesday by the regulator said Vodafone Ghana was granted one (1) lot of the 2x5MHz frequency spectrum block in the 800 MHz Band for mobile service after meeting all financial negotiation.
In September this year the National Communications Authority (NCA) released a Roadmap for the sale of three (3) lots of the 2x5MHz frequency spectrum blocks in the 800 MHz Band and invited applications from eligible Entities registered under the Ghana Companies Code, 1963, Act 179 for the grant of a licence to establish, maintain and operate Mobile Services in the 800 MHz band.

The objectives for the auctioning according to the NCA was to make valuable spectrum available for the provision of mobile data and voice services to improve access and service quality whilst facilitating the diffusion of information and communication technologies in enhancing the socio-economic development of the country, and also generate revenue for the State to cover some of the costs of the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting including the cost of rolling out a nationwide DTT network to carry programme channels of the state broadcaster and other private Freeto-Air (FTA) terrestrial TV stations among others.

The auction process which lasted two months witnessed Vodafone Ghana and Quantum Oil submitting applications and making US$24million and US$2million offers respectively for the bid.

As winner of the bid, Vodafone Ghana will be required as part f the licensing conditions to establish a minimum of 25 per cent Ghanaian ownership in the company within two years, cover at least 6 metropolitan capitals and 20 other municipal and district capitals within 36 months, under 48 month additional 50 municipal and district capitals should have been covered; and by end of 60 months - minimum of additional 50 district capitals should have coverage.

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