Ghana considers ‘Unified Licensing Regime’ for telcos to drive down internet cost

Ghana will be rolling out the unified license regime, a global standard of licensing for telecom operators with the aim to bring down the cost of internet for operators and consequently consumers.

This is in line with the quest by the government to make data accessible to consumers at a cheaper rate.

The new licensing regime will also allow telecom operators to acquire one set of licenses for both voice and data operations.

Answering questions from the Appointment Committee of Parliament, Minister-designate for Communication and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu Ekuful hinted that the option has become critical due to the increasing usage of data in the country.

According to Ursula Owusu Ekuful, the current license regime doesn’t have the technology to grant a single license for a spectrum operation, therefore operators acquire a separate license for each spectrum that is either 2G, 3G or 4G. This situation she believes will contribute to the high cost of internet or data.

“Moving forward, we will implement the unified licensing regime so that it doesn’t matter whether 2G, 3G or 4G spectrum license that you have to deliver the services that you want for your customers” she told the Appointment Committee.

The concept of unified telecommunications licensing which is prevalent in a number of countries, including Singapore, Australia, certain European Union countries and recently India, allows competing telecommunications operators and service providers to offer various telecommunications services without having to apply for separate licenses.

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