The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) is in the process of installing a VSAT hub to provide universal access to telecommunications services for remote communities in the country.
The $37 million project, to be implemented under the award-winning Rural Telephony Project, would commence early this year as soon as approval has been obtained from the Central Tender Board.
The Rural Telephony Project aims to motivate telecommunication operators to extend their services into locations of less commercial viability where GIFEC will bear the cost of erecting the tower.
Kwabena Owusu Akyeampong, Chief Executive Officer of GIFEC, said the installation of the VSAT hub would change drastically the process of bridging the digital gap between the urban and rural communities.
“The situation is going to drastically change because we are in the process of bringing in a VSAT hub, that is install a hub that would enable GIFEC reach the whole country at the same time,” he said.
According to Mr Acheampong, GIFEC had budgeted to build 100 new sites this year alone compared to 51 sites since the project started.
Additionally, he said GIFEC was in touch with MTN through its provider service agency Ericsson to undertake a number of sites earmarked to be completed by the first quarter of 2016.
He said the rural telephony project was important because the mobile telephone companies never wanted to deploy in communities with small populations, adding that MTN “has gone off that radar and it is now doing those small communities through Ericsson so we have some agreement with them with a list of communities that they can ably reach and they have started work on the new MTN Ericsson GIFEC sites.
“In the next two years, we should be able to cover at least 80 percent of the country with regard to rural telephony once the hub is installed.
GIFEC is also in line to deploy more fish-finders which use sonar technology to show what is directly below a fishermen’s boat or canoe, making it possible for fishermen to locate spots where there is a significant amount of fish for harvesting.
A business desk report