Ghana gets first 4G LTE network


Alcatel-Lucent teams with Surfline Communications for launch of country's first high speed data network

Ghana's first 4G LTE service provider, Surfline Communications, with technology partner Alcatel-Lucent, have announced the first commercial deployment of a 4G LTE network in Ghana.

Launched yesterday, the data-only service for pre-paid customers is initially available in the country's capital, Accra, and port of Tema. It will be expanded to countrywide within two years, Surfline chairman and owner, John Taylor, stated.

Alcatel-Lucent has provided hardware and software, along with installation, optimisation, maintenance and managed services, helping Surfline roll out next generation mobile communications in response to rapidly increasing data demand driven by the proliferation of lower cost smartphones in Ghana.

Surfline was established to provide wireless broadband and related services to the Ghanaian market as well as more generally in Western and Central Africa. The high speed network created with Alcatel-Lucent will be used for multiple data-centric services and applications to aid Ghana's overall infrastructure.

Surfline hopes that affordable countrywide broadband connectivity will act as a catalyst for the development of a digital-based economy in Ghana, by increasing information and communications technology (ICT) literacy. In Ghana, and elsewhere in Africa, 4G LTE is expected to transform the use of technology with regards to mobile consumers, healthcare, transportation, energy, security, agriculture, sales and payments industries and infrastructure.

Taylor commented: 'We chose Alcatel-Lucent to build and operate our LTE network because of the strong trust and relationship we developed, and the experience that Alcatel-Lucent has on LTE as a technology, as well as its strong presence in Africa, including Ghana. Alcatel-Lucent's ultra fast broadband solution, market positioning and 4G LTE leadership were essential for our decision.'

Daniel Jaeger, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent in Africa added: 'The recent announcement of Alcatel-Lucent's ‘Shift Plan' underlined the importance of our technological edge in next generation access technologies. Africa represents a major opportunity for growth in ultra-Broadband, and it is a significant part of our strategy to form strategic partnerships with operators like Surfline, who are committed to making a positive contribution to people's lives.'

Taylor, who owns a number of oil business, has invested more than $100 million to complete the first phase of the network that covers 300 cell sites, Reuters reported.

Ghana is now the sixth African sub-Saharan to gain a 4G network. Surfline is owned by Skybridge Investments, a wholly owned Ghanaian company. It is headquartered in Accra, Ghana.


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