MTN yesterday became the first mobile operator in Uganda, and one of the very first in the region, to successfully launch a long-term evolution (LTE) network.
LTE is the latest technology in the world with the fastest Internet speeds of up to 100Mbps, giving customers the most seamless experience in data services.
Popularly known as 4G, LTE is a ‘standard for wireless communication of high-speed data for data terminals and mobile phones’. LTE data networks provide mobile ultra-broadband Internet access.
“We are happy to claim another first in Uganda with this momentous announcement, as MTN Uganda successfully launches its LTE network, offering world-class Internet services to our customers. What is even more pleasing is that we've done this ahead of many other advanced economies around the world,” says Ernst Fonternel, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer.
The launch of LTE represents a major stride in mobile connectivity capabilities in Uganda. The service offers almost triple the speed of any existing mobile connection available commercially in Uganda and in the region.
“This launch further emphasises MTN’s commitment to not just transforming its own network, but also the businesses of its corporate and SME customers, while contributing positively to the overall development of the ICT sector in Uganda,” Fonternel adds.
For the customer, this means you can download large files in no time, stream music videos and HD movies without buffering, and upload pictures without delay. These services will significantly transform the way you interact with the world.
“The higher LTE speeds will give our customers lower latency, which translates into a much more stable user experience. The technology’s impressive speeds create endless possibilities for the user, including instantaneous music and picture downloads,” says Fonternel.
“Our challenge isn't keeping ahead of the other operators. It’s keeping ahead of the tidal wave of data demand both in our country and in the region. Last year, we launched our 21.6Mbps data network, and last month we rolled out our 42Mbps data network, and now LTE. In all these innovations, we have been the first, and our intention is to continue pushing boundaries so that our customers enjoy world-class Internet.”
MTN’s LTE service will initially be available in greater Kampala, with other towns to follow in the near future. There are currently 20 locations that have been fully integrated onto the LTE network. Furthermore, LTE-capable dongles will be on sale at selected MTN outlets.
Fonternel says the commercial launch of LTE is part of a bigger network transformation plan that MTN has been undertaking over the past few years in order to give its customers world-class services.
Over the last two years, MTN has made major investments in its data infrastructure in Uganda, expanded the mobile distribution foot print, and greatly enhanced the mobile core, radio capacity and network infrastructure.
MTN Uganda launched the first mobile money service in Uganda with tremendous success. It was recently ranked second in the worldwide sample for the number of active mobile money accounts as per GSM Association’s 2012 Survey.
MTN Uganda was also recently named Uganda’s Number 1 Leading Superbrand, and was voted as the Best Mobile Telephone Service Provider of the Year in the Uganda Responsible Investment Awards 2013. MTN was voted for by the people of Uganda in appreciation and recognition of its contribution towards the promotion of international best practices and standards.
“MTN’s vision is to lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers. MTN Uganda is embracing this vision through constant enhancements to our data network to deliver world-class Internet and make our customers’ lives a whole lot brighter,” says Fonternel.
Since MTN was launched in Uganda in 1998, it has made major investments in the country. In 2012 alone, its capex investments exceeded $80 million. This investment was mainly in expanding the network infrastructure to support the mobile subscriber growth as well as the rollout of new, innovative products and digital solutions.
MTN Uganda plans to invest an additional $70 million in 2013 towards further infrastructure development.
“In terms of network infrastructure, MTN Uganda has deployed 2 800km of fibre backbones achieved with multiple layers and rings to protect customer experience across all national regions and provide dedicated business solutions to SMEs and corporate enterprises. Another 400km of fibre is currently under deployment between Mutundwe, in Kampala, and Kyenjojo district, in Western Uganda, and should be completed within the coming months,” says Rami Farah, MTN Uganda’s Chief Technical Officer.
Furthermore, MTN Uganda extended the fibre network backbone and built five regional switching centres in the East, West, North and Central regions. MTN also built a fibre-optic cable through Tanzania into Rwanda, providing an alternative data capacity route through Katuna into Uganda.
MTN Uganda has, over the last six months, rolled out approximately 100 new base transmission sites to new coverage areas while commissioning another batch of capacity sites to enhance the quality of network services. MTN Uganda currently has more than 1 100 network sites across all regions in Uganda.
“The continuous capex investment by MTN is aimed at providing our customers with the best possible user experience across the country. We would like to ensure consistent and reliable network quality for all existing customers and also to enable many more new customers to enjoy the best of what mobile technology has to offer,” concludes Farah.
- Issued by MTN Group Corporate Affairs