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Business News of Monday, 10 July 2017


Cost of 4G license cannot be reduced - Minister tells telcos

The Minister for Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful has maintained that government will not reduce the cost of the 4G spectrum to telecom companies in the country.

MTN Ghana which acquired the first 4G license did so at a price of 67.5 million dollars, a figure that was exceedingly high for the other bidders to compete with.

The CEO of Vodafone Ghana, Yolanda Cuba in May this year told Citi Business News the cost of the spectrum must be reduced.

Reacting to the appeal, the Minister Communications, Mrs. Ursula Owusu Ekuful was of the view that government cannot reduce the cost, hence telcos must consolidate to acquire it.

“I have indicated in the meetings I have had with the operators that consolidation is the way to go and we would actively promote any effort to consolidate their operations and build more synergies instead of going for loans and incurring the huge capital outlaw which the industry demands,” she observed.

“I believe that when the spectrum was offered for sale those who wanted to, acquired it. The broadband wireless operators have the 4G LTE license so does MTN which was the only one which took up the offer. Comparatively people say that we auctioned it for a rather reasonable amount,” she added.

Contrary to assertions that the cost was too high, Mrs. Owusu Ekuful was of the view that the cost of the spectrum is reasonable considering the margins that come with it.

She maintained that the profit is worth the investment hence telcos must come together to raise the money and benefit from the technology.

“It is reality but 67.5 million was what we sold the spectrum for, I think if you look at the profit to be made in the sector, for me, it was a reasonable amount, I don’t know, but there is no way that we will go below that amount now,” she stressed.

She stated that there is one bloc of spectrum which is still available for telcos to take advantage of.

What is 4G

4G is the short name for fourth-generation wireless, the stage of broadband mobile communications that supercedes the third generation (3G).

Some benefits of the 4G network include quick download of files over a wireless network, gives extremely high voice quality, it easy access to internet, IM, social networks, streaming media, it enables video calling and gives higher bandwidth.

4G is 10 times faster than 3G.