MTN Ghana has contracted Ericsson to deploy an LTE network in the region around the country’s capital Accra – a move the infrastructure vendor said would cover some 16 million subscribers.
The operator is rolling out the new network in the Greater Accra Region as it moves to offer subscribers in the area high-speed mobile broadband access. The Greater Accra Region is the smallest of the country’s 10 administrative regions in terms of area, but it is the second most heavily populated having accounted for 15.4 per cent of Ghana’s total population in 2010, information from the Ghanaian government reveals.
MTN Ghana CEO Ebenezer Twum Asante said the operator’s subscribers require ‘world-class data access that is capable of meeting their unique connectivity requirements.’
Ericsson stated it will fulfil the contract by installing its multi-standard radio product, which covers GSM/EDGE, WCDMA/HSPA, and LTE technologies. The company said this approach is a cost-effective means of deploying mobile broadband, while also offering benefits in terms of capacity and function evolution capabilities.
The infrastructure vendor added that the inclusion of 2G and 3G technologies enables operators to free up spectrum for the provision of high-speed LTE data services. That, in turn, opens the door for operators to fully cash in on growing demand and usage of mobile data services.
‘As a global LTE leader, we are excited by the opportunities for inclusion and empowerment that connectivity brings to Africa and Ghana,’ Ignacio Gelso, country manager at Ericsson Ghana commented.
Gelso added that operators in Africa increasingly recognise the need to ‘deploy 4G/LTE to keep their mobile broadband offerings competitive.’
Ericsson predicted that close to 80 per cent of mobile subscriptions in sub-Saharan Africa will run on a mix of WCDMA/HSPA and LTE by the end of 2021. In its Ericsson Mobility Report, the vendor also forecasts that LTE subscriptions in the region will be 28-times higher at that point than they are at present, and that data usage will be 15-times higher.