Ghanaian Government Implements National Roaming Policy to Enhance Mobile Connectivity

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In a significant move to enhance mobile connectivity across the country, the government of Ghana has announced the implementation of a National Roaming Policy.

This groundbreaking initiative, revealed by the Minister for Communication and Digitalisation, Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, at the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) event in Accra on Friday, is designed to allow network operators to utilize each other’s infrastructure to provide seamless telecommunication services.

“We’re implementing a National Roaming Policy where networks can roam on each other’s network where necessary to benefit the consumer seamlessly. So regardless of where you are, your phone will pick up the strongest signal regardless of which network operator you utilize,” Mrs. Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Minister for Communication and Digitalisation

The National Roaming Policy aims to enable telecommunication networks to roam on each other’s networks where necessary, offering substantial benefits to consumers by improving service availability and reliability, particularly in underserved regions. The minister highlighted the policy’s potential to bridge the remaining connectivity gaps across the country, which is crucial for socio-economic development.

“We’re hopeful that this will also enable us to bridge some of the connectivity gaps we have in the country,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful stated during her address. She emphasized that this initiative forms part of a broader strategy to ensure that digital services reach every Ghanaian, especially the 20% who currently lack internet access.

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The announcement of the National Roaming Policy coincides with the government’s ongoing efforts to enhance digital infrastructure through major projects. One such project is the Rural Telephony and Digital Inclusion Project, which aims to construct 2,016 new cell sites nationwide.

As of now, over half of these cell sites have been completed, with the government planning to build an additional 1,006 cell sites by September this year to complement the 1,010 sites already in place.

“This will ensure that about 20% of our population that are currently unconnected would also get the opportunity to benefit from digital innovations,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful explained, underscoring the importance of these efforts in achieving comprehensive digital inclusion.

The minister also stressed the need for collaboration among various government agencies and regulators overseeing the digital ecosystem. “The digital technology is interdependent on several agencies and regulators working closely together. So, we can’t continue with this siloed approach to our development,” Mrs. Owusu-Ekuful urged, calling for a unified approach to digital development.

The National Roaming Policy is a cornerstone of the government’s Digital Ghana agenda, which aims to drive digitalization across all sectors through innovation, infrastructure investments, enhanced skills development, and a supportive regulatory environment.

At the same event, the Director General of the National Communications Authority (NCA), Mr. Joe Anokye, emphasized the need for collaborative efforts to create conditions that foster digital entrepreneurship, adopt emerging technologies, and drive sustainable digital innovation. He called for empowering innovators and forging partnerships at both local and global levels to achieve these goals.

“The whole world needs digital innovation. Together, we can make it happen,” Mr. Anokye stated, reflecting the theme of the WTISD event, “Digital Innovation for Sustainable Development.”

The WTISD event, organized by the NCA, brought together stakeholders from government, industry, academia, and development partners to explore how technology and innovation can be leveraged to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This platform facilitated discussions on creating a more connected and digitally inclusive Ghana, setting the stage for transformative growth in the country’s digital landscape.

The implementation of the National Roaming Policy marks a pivotal moment in Ghana’s journey towards achieving universal digital connectivity. By facilitating network sharing and investing in digital infrastructure, the government is poised to significantly reduce the digital divide within the country. The commitment to digitalization, coupled with the push for collaborative efforts and innovation, sets a strong foundation for Ghana’s future as a digitally advanced nation.