The Government of Ghana has provided extra spectrum to two of the telecommunication giants in the country, Vodafone and MTN Ghana to enable them meet the data needs of the internet users in the country.
The spectrum was provided to the two companies for free for a period of three months.
This, according to the Minister of Communications, Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, is directed by the President, HE Nana Akuffo-Addo.
The directive was announced at the periodic media briefing organised by the Information Ministry to update the public on Ghana’s situation with the Covid-19 pandemic and what Government is doing to contain it.
“The President has directed that the National Communications Authority (NCA) should give more bandwidth to telcos during this period for free and that has been done. That has been given to the two telcos that are bearing the brunt of it; Vodafone and MTN”, the Minister of Communication, said on Tuesday, April 14, 2020.
Why Vodafone and MTN
On why the two telcos were awarded the three months free spectrum, Mrs Owusu-Ekuful explained that AirtelTigo, another a major player in the communications industry already has “a sufficient spectrum so Vodafone and MTN have been given the additional spectrum for three months.
He added that this was done because there is the need to reserve some of the spectrum for emergencies, hence why “we can’t give them out permanently.”
Calls for reduction
The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Ghana in March necessitated a number of actions to contain and prevent the spread of the virus.
A ban on public gatherings and closure of schools was announced by the President OF Ghana.
A lockdown was subsequently declared, affecting Accra, Tema, Kasoa and Kumasi, initially for a period of two weeks, but has since been extendedfor another seven days.
By lockdown, it means people must stay indoors but this seems to be creating a lot of boredom, and to cure it most people have had go online to watch video clips, movies or connect with loved ones.
This sudden increase in internet usage necessitate calls for a reduction of the cost of internet data in the country to lessen the burden of the citizens in the wake of the pandemic.
But the Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, Selorm Adadevoh, says reducing the cost of data to boost communication amidst the pandemic, could increase traffic that will affect internet speed.
He further stated that data consumption in Ghana had gone up by about 20 percent.
The Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications (GCT), on the other hand, called for responsible internet etiquette.
They argue that to ensure the fair and judicious use of telecommunications networks and the internet, the public ought to adopt responsible internet etiquette and avoid the use of online entertainment services during digital traffic rush-hours, which falls between 9:00am and 11:00am and 7:00pm -11:00pm.