The objective of the rural telephony project is to motivate telecommunication operators to extend their services into locations of less commercial viability whereby GIFEC bears the cost of erecting the tower.
“The ultimate objective of the program is to achieve virtually 100% mobile telephone service coverage throughout the country, and to also increase telephone subscribership to as many citizens as possible” The Principal Programs Manager of GIFEC, Michael Agyei Takyi said, Joy Fm quoted him as saying.
He said GIFEC in collaboration with Ericsson and MTN have signed a memorandum of understanding to construct 55 sites using the GIFEC model and a further 25 sites under the GIFEC HUB project.
He said the rural telephony project was important because the mobile telephone companies never wanted to deploy in communities with small populations, adding however 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
The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) was created under the Ghana ICT Policy for Accelerated Development as an implementing agency of the Ministry of Communications, to facilitate the provision of ICT, Internet connectivity and infrastructure to underserved and un-served areas of the country.
The Electronic Communications Act 775 promulgated in 2008 gave legal backing to the agency, changed the agency’s name to the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communication (GIFEC), and widened the scope of its mandate to include the provision of access to electronic services including ICT, broadcasting, Internet, multimedia service, and basic telephony for the unserved and underserved communities in Ghana.