Ghanaian government gives spectrum to MTN and Vodafone for three months

The Minister of Communication, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful has disclosed that the government through the National Communication Authority (NCA) has given spectrum to telcos in the country so they can provide better internet services during the COVID-19 period.

Communications Minister, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful said at a press briefing that the spectrum was given to the two telcos for free. She added that the government has given it to them for only three months.

“As you are all aware, data usage has also increased dramatically during this period of lockdown and there is congestion on all the networks. So the quality of telecom services to the general public has been affected by this.”

“So, the president has directed that the NCA should give more bandwidth spectrum to the telcos during this period for free and that has been done. Fortunately, we have only a limited amount of spectrum available and that has been given to the two telcos that are bearing the brunt of it; Vodafone and MTN,” she added.

Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that “AirtelTigo has a sufficient spectrum so Vodafone and MTN have been given the additional spectrum for three months because we do need to reserve some for emergencies like this and so we can’t give them permanently. So they have been it to use for the next three months for free. Hopefully, that will help reduce the pressure on the networks.”

After Ghana recorded its first COVID-19 case in March, the President announced a partial lockdown in Greater Accra, Kumasi and Kasoa.

This meant that most workers would work from home and students will also engage in online schooling. All these require the use of stable internet.

However, due to the pressure on telcos, the internet has not been stable enough. The government in helping solve this challenge has put measures such as this in place.

The Minister also called on Ghanaians to change their online behaviour as a way of helping to have better internet access.

“If you don’t have to make a video call, don’t make a video call or call on WhatsApp or any of these platforms…let us limit the downloads of movies, music and stuff like that. Maybe it’s time for you to read that book that you’ve put aside for a long time.”

be prudent in using data so the congestion can be reduced.

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