By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Nigeria’s quest to achieve the targeted 30 percent National Broadband penetration by 2018 has received a major boost with the formal launch of MTN’s 4G LTE service, which had been operational for the past four weeks.
The event, which was held at the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja at the weekend was attended by several stakeholders including the Senate Committee Chairman on Communication, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, who represented the Senate President.
With the launch of the service, MTN subscribers can now enjoy optimized wireless 4G broadband and high-speed browsing experience which is the fastest and most futuristic mobile internet access available in Nigeria today. According to MTN CEO, Ferdi Moolman, who was represented by MTN’s Chief Operating Officer, Mohammed Siddiqui, the deployment of MTN 4G LTE will not only enhance browsing experience across Nigeria, but will also accelerate the achievement of the country’s targeted broadband penetration by 2018.
“We are excited to officially roll-out MTN 4G LTE services to our esteemed customers. By leveraging on our network, it promises to be the widest LTE coverage in Nigeria. With the acquisition of the 2.6GHZ spectrum earlier this year, our objective was clear: to build capacity to accommodate 4G LTE for the benefit of Nigerians because it is the fastest wireless internet connection available today. In fulfilling that objective, we have embarked on aggressive optimization of our sites to beef up our capacity for 4G LTE,” he stated.
Also speaking at the event, the Senate Committee Chairman on Communication, Senator Gilbert Nnaji, commended MTN for investing in LTE and supporting the Federal Government’s drive to deepen broadband penetration in the country.
“It is commendable that MTN continues to demonstrate that it is building its business in Nigeria based on sustainability in the long term. The MTN 4G LTE roll-out is a case in point and going by the potential of broadband to develop the economy, this underscores the premium the company has placed on innovation which contributes to socio-economic development now and in the future,” he said.
The Corporate Services Executive of MTN, Amina Oyagbola, who stated that MTN’s 4G LTE service is presently available in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt, also announced that plans were underway to expand the 4G LTE service to other parts of the country. She further called on subscribers to visit the nearest MTN customer service centre in the three cities to upgrade their SIMs to U-SIMs to enable them enjoy the 4G service. She added that switching to the 4G LTE service would not attract additional tariffs for subscribers.
While maintaining that MTN subscribers who preferred to remain on the 3G platform were free to do so, she nevertheless stressed that the roll-out of 4G in these cities would decongest the 3G space and make it more efficient in providing digital services.
“While we encourage subscribers to step up to 4G LTE, we will not discontinue the existing 3G Broadband service. Basically, as more people migrate to 4G in the areas it is available, it will free up space for 3G users to enjoy better experience. Ultimately, both 4G and 3G will enhance Broadband experience,” she stated.
MTN’s 4G LTE Broadband service also comes with a MI-FI device that can be purchased at the nearest MTN friendship centre and allows for multiple users either at home or in the office.