MTN Ghana ready to deploy 4G LTE
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
The Chief Executive Officer at MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum Asante, has indicated MTN Ghana’s readiness and preparedness to deploy 4G LTE in the country. Speaking during a briefing with members of the Network of Communications Reporters (NCR) in Accra, Mr Asante noted that the wide adoption of 4G as a complement to MTN’s existing 2G and 3G deployments in Ghana provides direct and attendant benefits for consumers and businesses and ultimately contributes to the development of Ghana.
MTN Ghana is among four companies bidding for the 800MHz spectrum (Digital Dividend) auctioning by the National Communication Authority (NCA).
Citing reasons why the 800 MHz spectrum is needed to be deployed nationwide, the MTN boss mentioned 4G LTE spectrum as the technology that is currently fuelling the wirelessly connected lives we lead hence wireless companies need spectrum to transmit voice and data signals. “As consumers and businesses become more and more connected, using their mobile devices for more activities, the need for spectrum increases. The more spectrum an operator has, the more data it can carry to subscribers; the bigger the highway used to deliver data to subscribers, the better the experience” he added.
It could be recalled that in 2012, the NCA awarded the licenses to three indigenous companies to develop and operate broadband networks to provide nationwide broadband wireless access (BWA) services. Per the conditions of their licenses, the BWA providers were to commence operations not later than 24 months from the effective dates of their licences, and rollout obligations were defined in zones, based on population density, and generally required coverage of 22 districts within 18 months, 77 districts within 36 months, 114 districts within 48 months, 126 districts within 60 months and all districts across Ghana within 72 months.
A thorough assessment of the performance of BWA’s in the country over the past three years has been abysmal, making 4G LTE services expensive and a preserve for the affluent and rich in Ghanaian society.
But the CEO of MTN Ghana is confident that with it current investment and extensive fibre deployment to sites in key metropolitan areas, guaranteed bandwidth and speeds, users on LTE is assured of higher data rates, if MTN get a 4G license. “MTN Ghana is ready to roll out the fourth generation of mobile technology to provide faster and more reliable mobile connectivity in a world where data usage is increasing on a yearly basis. MTN also needs the spectrum to sustain the quality of services being currently offered,” he said.
Reiterating MTN’s commitment for local content, Mr Asante hinted that as an African multinational that firmly believes that thinking globally and acting locally is a key driver of success, it embraces local content; including the value it bring to Ghanaian individuals and businesses. “The value chain of diverse local companies dependent on MTN for sustainability, the services they provide to Ghanaians, the people they employ and the people MTN itself employs directly are a fundamental part of Ghana’s economy and demonstration of MTN’s local perspective. Beyond that direct and indirect responsibility for keeping 500,000 Ghanaians employed, MTN is conceivably the biggest corporate contributor to Ghana’s development, with over 80% of the company’s revenues feeding back into the Ghanaian economy through capital investments, cost of sales expenditure, regulatory fees, maintenance costs, rent and utilities, salaries, marketing costs, corporate social investments and taxes. Beyond all of this, we welcome the opportunity to compete directly with local companies in the communications industry.”