MTN, Ghana’s leading mobile voice and data telecommunications service provider, has affirmed its commitment to deploy technology to ensure increased access to the benefits of the digital age for Ghanaians.
Commenting on the deployment of 4G in Ghana, MTN said because of the benefits associated with communications, the core of any discussion on the subject must be about the user and the benefits they can derive, and not about the provider. The cross-section of Ghanaians must have uninterrupted access to fast evolving technology and the ability to enjoy all the benefits of the digital age.Technology deployment at an expanded scale makes the services running on that technology more affordable and therefore more accessible to many more people.
Ghanaians deserve the kind of wide 4G deployment that can positively impact the way people communicate with family and friends and the way businesses operate, and MTN has demonstrated a clear focus on making the relevant investments to bring coverage to the widest cross-section of Ghanaians.
Network investments have been at the core of MTN Ghana’s operations, as evidenced by its successful ongoing 3G deployments.After successfullydeploying2G voice services as part of a strategy to make mobile phone services available to the majority of Ghanaians, MTN began to deploy enhanced data services when it was granted a 3G licence in 2009. Given the successful widest-coverage strategy for voice with 2G, MTN followed a similar strategy for 3G and was the first mobile operator to fulfill its licence condition to cover 170 district capitals within five years. By December 2013, MTN subscribers in 170 districts were enjoying fast, reliable data services, ahead of the January 2014 deadline for the rollout condition to cover 170 districts with 3G services within five years, with some MTN subscribers in some metropolitan districts enjoying speeds up to 42 Mbps.
Ghana’s telecommunications industry is growing rapidly with mobile voice phone penetration approaching 120% and data penetration exceeding 62%. This amazing growth is expected to increase in the coming years as consumers and businesses move towards increased use of smart-phones and other smart devices.With the growth of smart devices, the demand for bandwidth and high speed capabilities will also increase as subscribers exchange, download and upload more videos, music and documents and use mobile applications that are bandwidth intensive.Access to affordable 4G technology will enhance the experience of these subscribers.
Ghana’s economy mustalso reap the benefits engendered by the increased efficiencies, expanded productivity and improved global access resulting from the proper use of evolving mobile services;this will be expedited with 4G technology accessibility for a broader spectrum of subscribers.
Ghanaians deserve and must demand all of these benefits; therefore4G spectrum should be allocated to companies who will aggressively deploy the technology and make it accessible for broader benefit.
The Chief Executive Officer of MTN, Ebenezer Asante stated that, “MTN Ghana is ready to roll out the 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 Ghana is ready to lead Ghana to join the growing number of countries in Africa and across the globe who are currently enjoying the full benefits of 4G LTE technology to enhance their personal lives and to grow their businesses and ultimately their economies. Furthermore, for a company like MTN to sustain and enhance the services it continues to provide to customers, spectrum is a necessity. That is why the ongoing 800 MHz spectrum assignment is important to MTN – service sustainability and enhancement,” he added.
CEO Ebenezer went on to explain that while the core mobile services provided by MTN are critical given the role of communications in day-to-day life and business, MTN’s contributions to Ghana go far beyond the provision of those services. As an African multinational, MTN is true to the business maxim that demands that in order to be successful, companies must think globally and act locally. The value chain of diverse 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’s role as the largest taxpayer, combined with enormous investments in healthcare and educational corporate social investments, make MTN an integral part of Ghana’s growth and development.
Furthermore, MTN’s track record of growing its network from a subscriber base of 2.5 million to 15million in a space of nineyears as a result of deliberate strategic network investments demonstrates the company’s focus on ensuring access to technology for Ghanaians and the abilityto grow Ghana’s 4G LTE penetration to enable the broadest cross-section of Ghanaians derive the full economic benefits of the technology.
The promise of LTE is enormous; the benefits to individuals and businesses are immeasurable. The core of the discussion must focus on the subscriber and the benefits brought to the user and Ghana as a whole. Ghana must take bold steps in order not to be left behind in the fast growing data revolution.
From Sammmy Heywood Okine