Mobile operator Airtel Gabon has launched the process of replacing its subscribers’ 2G and 3G sim cards with 4G sim cards, an operation it said was aimed at giving them a chance to optimise its 4G high speed internet.
The swap is being made for free and the customer automatically gets a bonus of 1Gb to get the first taste of 4G, reports from the capital Libreville said early this week.
In a country where the state continues to invest heavily in telecommunications infrastructure, and where the price of internet has considerably dropped since 2012, thousands of users, the youth in particular, are expected to storm Airtel shops to start experiencing the 4G revolution.
Gabon, where the number of mobile subscribers appears to have increased sevenfold since 2010, was ranked in 2017 the top connected country to ICTs in Central and West Africa by the International Telecommunications Union (UTI).
Airtel Gabon, which acquired its 3G/4G license on 20 March 2014 at the cost of FCFA5.5 billion (nearly $9.6 million), aims at ensuring that the 4G sim card would enable its subscribers to browse web pages at high speed, watch streaming video, and make video calls between two people.
The licence is valid for 10 years, according to the telecoms regulator’s (ARCEP) website.
The new sim card will also help users watch live TV on their phone. The 4G technology offers a faster speed that can reach up to 150 Mbps per second, or one second per download.
Airtel Gabon’s 4G LTE network has been deployed by Swedish equipment manufacturer Ericsson.