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GIFEC targets 95% mobile telephony service coverage by 2019

July 31, 2018, 9:08 a.m.

The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) is confident that by close of next year, the country would be able to inch closer to having a universal access to mobile telephony service.

The Administrator of the Fund, Kofi Asante speaking at a press soiree last week in Accra said, so far GIFEC has deployed a number of cell sites in areas which under normal circumstances would not have been reached by the telcos due to their remoteness and lack of commercial value.

“Now with the about 900 communities we have covered, we are left with another set of 900 for us to cover, which we plan to cover before the end of 2019.

“And I can assure you that we will not compromise; we will be able to cover 95%

“If we are able to even do more, it may even go up but that is what we have programmed for ourselves through the various stakeholder partnerships and considering all the risk that we see and we think that we will be able to get there,” he added.

RTP initiative

According to him, GIFEC, through its Universal Access to Telephony Programme, extended coverage of mobile telephone services to the very remotest areas through the Rural Telephony Project (RTP) which was done with the collaboration of the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs).

He also revealed that the Fund had been working on a project called ‘GIFEC Satellite Hub’ to provide Points of Presence in underserved and unserved communities through the installation of VSAT Satellite Hubs to offer telecommunication services to communities with difficult terrains to be explored.

“So far, 100 VSATs internet sites have been installed, with 25 RTP sites integrated into the hub and 82 Community Information Centres (CIC) connected to the internet through the deployment of GIFEC Satellite Hub.

“The Fund has also been focusing on Cyber Laboratory Programme (CLP) with the aim of facilitating and supporting full-service broadband connectivity, service and facilities to designated underserved and unserved communities and delivering broadband access available to all potential users within each local service area”.

He indicated that the School Connectivity Project seeks to enable the study and development of new technologies to help students improve upon their skills in Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

The Administrator said so far, 819 educational institutions had been provided with computers, printers, scanners and projectors, adding that, about 120 basic schools would be equipped with ICT laboratories by the end of this year.

He said 241 CIC’s had been established across the country, with 182 equipped with computers, scanners, printers and photocopiers, adding that, “only 34 out the 241 were functional, and assured that all the non-functional CICs would be activated by the end of this year”.