Vodafone Ghana yesterday launched its fourth generation (4G) network, promising to deliver a faster internet connectivity and clearer voice calls that will redefine Ghana’s digital revolution.
Stepping up from the third generation (3G) network that is embracing history in digitally-rich countries across the world, the company said it had also rolled out 4.5G at some of its sites.
Vodafone becomes the second mobile telecommunication company in Ghana to launch the 4G long-term evolution (LTE) network.
At the ceremony, which also marked the last public assignment of the company’s outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Ms Yolanda Cuba, she said the company had brought the world’s biggest 4G network outside China to Ghana.
“The 4G deployment remains one of our biggest investments since we began operations in Ghana.
It also represents one of the last achievements that I shall take with me back to South Africa when I make my exit at the end of this month,” she told a gathering of regulators, the company’s customers and journalists.
She said the launch of the 4G network marked a turning point in the company’s evolution, saying: “Today, our business takes on a very different perspective.
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We have reinvented ourselves with the launch of 4G. Our customers - the very reason we are doing this - will get an opportunity to experience fast speeds, high-end network quality; faster downloads and uploads and so much more.”
Vodafone acquired its $30 million-licence in January this year after 10 years of operating in Ghana, where it took over the state-owned Ghana Telecom and turned it around into the second biggest telco (9.5 million subscribers), until the merger between Airtel and Tigo pushed it to the third position by subscriber numbers recently.
“It has been a tough journey, requiring even tougher decisions by management and our shareholders. So, the great news we are celebrating today is in order.
Add the fact that management has also been able to forge an agreement between the shareholders of our company to give Vodafone a fresh lease of life through a balance sheet restructuring, and this celebration will be complete.
“This is because the balance sheet restructuring has been outstanding for a number of years.
What I can assure our customers is that Vodafone is on an upward trajectory and the outlook for this year and subsequent ones is very promising,” she said.
On a day on which speaker after speaker paid glowing tributes to the exiting Vodafone CEO, she, while expressing gratitude to her peers in management and staff of the company, said she had nothing but the greatest of admiration for Ghana, its people, “my team and every employee across Vodafone Ghana.
My assignment here has taught me perseverance, determination, grit, aggression and faith.”
The government has a 30 per cent share in Vodafone Ghana.
The Minister of Communications, who launched the upgraded network, said the launch was a timely moment for the industry, customers and stakeholders and noted that it would turn up speed, reliability and stability, as the Vodafone Group was known for.
“As a Ministry, it has always been our responsibility to ensure that the telecoms sector is properly guided with the relevant policies and initiatives that only seek to enhance the sector; make the operators more willing to engage and engender healthy competition.
This we will continue to do without compromising on quality and efficiency,” she said.
Director-General of the National Communication Authority (NCA), Mr Joe Anokye, while commending Vodafone Ghana for its switch to 4G, said the authority expected the new network would meet the expectation and demand of customers.
He said the NCA also expected that it would be fast and not limited only to cities as consumers everywhere could not wait to stream faster than before.