MTN to invest more in technology

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Mr Asante (middle) celebrates with his team after luanch of MTN’s 4G LTE service. PICTURE: Charles Benoni Okine

The country’s telecoms market leader, MTN, has pledged to continue its investment in new technology to enable its customers to be abreast of modern times.

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“Our investments into new technology will continue because as market leaders, we ought to be abreast of the times and ensure that we give our customers what others in other parts of the developed world also enjoy”, the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Ebenezer Asante, said.

The CEO of MTN expressed the commitment shortly after the official commercial launch of the company’s Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) service throughout the country.

The new technology will allow customers using 4G compactible gadgets to enjoy speed services. This means that they can for instance download videos, pictures and other documents 10 times faster than the Third Generation (3G) services, the service provided by other operators.


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Investments so far

So far, MTN Ghana has spent almost US100 million in acquiring the latest technology. The technology licence for the service cost the company a whopping $67.5 million. It has further expended about US$20 million on the deployment in what it described as just the phase one.

Mr Asante will not say how much the cost for the second and third phases of the deployment will be except to indicate that “the amount to be spent on the phase two and three will also be substantial.”

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The distinguishing factor

The commercial launch of the technology ushered in MTN as the latest entrant into the 4G space where players such as Surfline, Blu, Goldkey and recently, Busy, are already occupying.

Unlike the others, the 4G service provided by MTN can be used for voice calls and on the normal mobile handsets found around provided they are 4G compactible.

Again, unlike the other players struggling to cover up to half of Accra, MTN is nationwide. At least, the service can be found in every regional capital in the country.

Mr Asante stated: “So, today, apart from the regional capitals, we are in some of the key economic enclaves such as Obuasi, Tarkwa, Kade, Akosombo, Nkawkaw and the frontier towns such as Elubo, Aflao and Denu so that not only are we providing the service to Ghanaians but those coming from the neighbouring countries will also experience it as they get in.”

On blank spots within the coverage area, the MTN CEO admitted that it will take time to have 100 per cent coverage but promised that “in every key town or village where there is some amount of economic activity going on and the population is also sizeable, our ambition is to deploy the service there within the next three to four years to cover every single area.”