When MTN Ghana received their licence last December to rollout 4G LTE services, they promised to do so in six months, and now reports from the telecoms operator indicates that the Telecoms market giant is set to meet that target.
MTN has cleared all squatters on the allocated 2x10MGHz spectrum and installed enough equipment to do test runs in parts of the country.
Highly-placed sources at MTN have confirmed that they have put enough measures in place to start the test run “any day now”.
“We are on time to meet the six months commercial rollout deadline we promised – and even ahead of the nationwide commercial launch the service will be available in parts of the country,” the source said.
MTN was the only existing telecom operator to have bided for the 2x10MGHz band within the 800MGHz spectrum put on sale by the National Communications Authority last December.
Eventually MTN was the only bidder who got the license at the minimum price of $67.5million, because the three other bidders, Surfline Communications, Goldkey Telecoms and Migson Communications chickened out of the auction after paying the non-refundable application fee of GHS250, 000 each.
A group calling itself the Ghana ICT Chamber fought hard and loud against MTN’s participation in the auction, claiming MTN is a foreign company and should therefore not be allowed to own spectrum in Ghana.
But the NCA insisted on pursuing a policy that affords the greater majority of Ghanaians the opportunity of affordable and widely accessible 4G LTE services.
Prior to MTN, four other new entrants had received licenses to provide 4G LTE services in Ghana. Three, Surfline, Blu Telecoms, and recently Busy Ghana have since launched and rolled out commercial services mainly in Accra.
MTN’s entry into the 4G spaces promises to spread the superior internet experience across the country at an affordable rate.
Surfline virtually monopolized that space for a couple of years before Busy entered the market and Busy’s entry has already caused some downward adjustments in prices at Surfline.
It is expected that MTN’s entry would further impact on prices and even quality of service borne out of a natural race between the players to win and maintain customers.
Meanwhile, Blu Telecom has also been offering 4G LTE in pockets of Accra and Tema, while Goldkey Telecoms has also deployed equipment and is fast gearing up to rollout 4G LTE services soon.