Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, is poised to break into the African telecom market with a bold new initiative. Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. will support Next-Gen InfraCo. (NGIC), a Ghana-based telecom company, through its subsidiary Radisys Corp., providing essential network infrastructure, applications, and smartphones.

NGIC aims to roll out 5G broadband services in Ghana by the end of the year, focusing on delivering affordable digital services in emerging markets. Harkirit Singh, NGIC’s executive director, highlighted the company’s strategy ahead of its official launch in Mumbai.

Key partners in this venture include tech giants Nokia Oyj, Tech Mahindra Ltd., and Microsoft Corp., which are expected to bolster NGIC’s technological capabilities. With Ghana’s only 5G license, NGIC is set to revolutionize the local telecom landscape, offering broadband services to mobile operators and internet service providers at a scale that individual carriers could not achieve independently.

NGIC’s ownership is shared between African telecom firms Ascend Digital Solutions Ltd. and K-NET, which hold a combined 55% stake, while the Ghanaian government owns just under 10%. The rest is held by local mobile operators and private investors. Notably, none of the strategic partners, including Reliance, currently own equity in NGIC but have the option to convert part of their payments into equity in the future.

Drawing inspiration from the success of Ambani’s Jio Infocomm Ltd. in India, NGIC plans to replicate the model that made mobile data affordable for millions. Jio’s disruptive entry in 2016 forced market consolidation and made it India’s largest mobile operator with 470 million users.

Ghana’s Minister for Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, expressed optimism that NGIC’s services would transform Ghana’s mobile broadband landscape, bringing affordable and high-speed internet to millions.

With a capital expenditure of $145 million over three years, NGIC is set to spearhead Ghana’s digital revolution, echoing the transformative impact of Jio in India.