Home Science Technology Telecel Ghana rolled out 4G+ on tech neutrality grounds

Telecel Ghana rolled out 4G+ on tech neutrality grounds

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Telecel Ghana CEO, Patricia Obo-Nai has stated that the company took advantage of the technology neutrality policy announced by the National Communications Authority (NCA) last year to boost the 4G experience on the network to 4G+.

Speaking to journalists at the launch of the Telecel brand in Ghana, the CEO said “before Telecel came we did not have 4G+ but now we have it because we got tech neutrality which meant we could use all the spectrum we have to improve the 4G experience on our network. So, from October we started rolling out the sites and this is what is helping us to carry all that great 4G+ experience.”

In July last year, the NCA announced a technology neutrality policy that specifically allowed non-SMP telcos to re-farm their existing spectrum slots in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands to roll out 4G networks and only pay an annual premium to NCA.

This applied specifically to Telecel Ghana, which then had a significantly smaller 4G network than the market leader, and AT Ghana, which did not and still does not have a 4G network at all.

AT Ghana is yet to manifestly take advantage of the new regime and roll out 4G; but, as the Telecel Ghana CEO said, the telco took full advantage of it way back in October last year, and has since rolled out more 4G cell sites, to boost their 4G experience to 4G+.

Bridging the infrastructure gap

According to Patricia Obo-Nai, coming into Ghana, Telecel promised to bridge the infrastructure gab between Vodafone Ghana and the market leader, which they have started doing aggressively, and very soon customers and Ghanaians in general will begin to experience the benefits of the investments.

Indeed, prior to getting regulatory approval to purchase Vodafone’s 70 per cent shares in Ghana Telecom, Telecel promised to invest up to US$500 million in the network in just the first three years.

It is not clear how much they have invested so far, but the Telecel Ghana CEO said the company promised to build 2,000 additional cell sites across the country, and so far they have completed 500 in just one year, and are fast working on the remaining 1,500.

Additionally, she said Telecel came to meet only 30 Vodafone retail shops across the country, but they have increased the numbers to 150 in just one year, and are in the process of opening up to 500 retail shops by the close of 2024.

“You can tell that Telecel is a very young and vibrant brand and their vision is very different and they are really committed to the brand promise of connecting the energies of Ghanaians,” she said.

Patricia Obo-Nai assured Ghanaians that the kind of commitment and passion Telecel has showed to the Ghana market can only translate into great customer experience and exciting service delivery for customers.

She said Telecel customers can expect exciting innovations in the areas of digital services and mobile financial services.

“We want everyone to download our new app – TelecelPlay and expect that over the period they will experience the exciting changes that will happen, especially in financial services,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Telecel Group is set to acquire MTN’s operations in Guinea Conakry and Guinea Bissau in the next few months. MTN Group announced this in their 2023 annual financial reports, and Telecel confirmed it to Techfocus24 saying the acquisition process started a few months back and handing over should happen in the next few months.

The two Guinean acquisitions are consistent with Telecel’s professed commitment to invest $700 million in acquisitions and mergers across Africa, as part of its Africa-focus strategy.

The company had also hinted earlier, that it will go public in five years, after acquiring Vodafone Ghana. One year is gone, so they are left with four more years for the IPO (initial public offer).

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