MTN 4G LTE is here! Wondering why you have been getting MTNSurprise SMS bonus lately? Wonder no more as MTN Nigeria is set to roll out its Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4GLTE) broadband services latest by July 2016 in selected cities, using the 800MHz frequency acquired from Visafone Ltd earlier this year.
To this end, MTN plans to have about 1,500 LTE collocated sites backhauled with fibre optics this year.
RUBIZTECH had earlier reported that MTN Nigeria has started full integration of Visafone customers into its Global System of Mobile communication (GSM) platform after acquiring Visafone’s assets, including its frequency and 2.1 million customers at the sum of N47.5 billion in order to improve the quality of MTN’s broadband services for its subscribers.
According to MTN executive office, Mr Fedinand Moolman, the main reason MTN acquired Visafone was to get access to the frequency which would allow it roll out LTE. He further confirmed that MTN has started the process to migrate all the Visafone subscribers onto its network so that they can clean up the frequency and start rolling out LTE.
“It delayed our capital expenditure (CAPEX) rollout during the first quarter a little bit because we needed to realign some of our CAPEX towards the LTE rollout. We started the migration of the subscribers and we hope to conclude that soon. The plans are to have commercial LTE available towards the end of the second quarter, maybe early quarter three, albeit very limited, obviously not substantial, and then start expanding this towards quarter three, quarter four and first quarter of next year. It is obviously a comprehensive project,” Moolman said.
The chief financial officer, MTN Group, Bret Goschen, said, “We have been engaging with our major original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and vendors and ensuring that the CAPEX rollout continues as planned. We are very close to finalising short-term arrangements, bridge-type facilities with the vendors, and then longer term arrangements around the ECA-backed credit financing we should have in place by the mid year.”[irp]
From every indication, MTN 4G LTE roll out will be in same manner as ntel who launched in PH, Lagos and Abuja. I’m loving this game because the Nigeria telecommunication space will be rife with good and welcomed competition.
The chief operating officer, MTN Group, Jyoti Desai, said that they have taken a very detailed analysis of MTN Nigeria’s data usage and where they should be rolling out the LTE network in the first place.
“We looked at the handset ecosystem and revenue opportunity and have identified some of the major cities,” he said.
According to him, MTN Nigeria’s LTE rollout will not impact its CAPEX as it already has space reservation in its joint tower company. He also stated that the LTE will be rolled out in existing base station sites.
Those of us who are still in the dinosaur age where Third Generation network is prominent with 3G Mobile enabled smartphones and other related devices should just take a moment and consider making plans for 4G LTE enabled device.
Here is a little something to inspire you:
Now there are five operational 4G LTE network in Nigeria – Swift 4G LTE, Spectranet NG, ntel 4G LTE, Smile VoLTE and MTN 4G LTE. Those of us using Visafone, simply migrate to MTN. Here is a guide on what to do.[irp]
Finally, we will be looking forward to a whole new MTN 4G LTE data plan. I think it will not be far from the various MTNSurprise, MTN New Offer, and the rebirth MTN Trutalk bonus plans seen so far plus a little more. Albeit, time will tell.
What do you think about this huge step taken by MTN Nigeria?