Vodafone ready for Q2 4G rollout in Ghana
11 January 2019
Following its successful bid for Ghana's second 4G license, Vodafone has announced plans to roll out 4G services across the country in the second quarter of 2019.
This pitches the company against MTN (which secured its 4G license in 2016), and puts pressure on AirtelTigo and Glo which did not participate in the 4G spectrum license auction.
Vodafone's 4G services will be rolled out through the 2x5 MHz in the 800 MHz band the company received from the regulator, the National Communications Authority (NCA).
According to the NCA, Vodafone paid US$30 million for the license.
Yolanda Cuba, Vodafone Ghana's CEO, described the company's decision to acquire the 4G license as a long-term strategic investment that would ensure it "stays ahead of the curve and be recognised as one of the most innovative companies in Ghana".
With the emergence of a second 4G licensee in Ghana, AirtelTigo and Glo are the remaining operators without license to deliver 4G services.
AirtelTigo's former CEO, Roshi Motman is quoted as saying, "Acquiring a 4G [license] is a natural progression but actually as a company, we are looking towards acquiring a 5G spectrum because in reality it's time for 5G in the world and not really 4G. So it's a bit sad that in Ghana the situation is the way it is. I also believe that it is not necessary to move from 2G to 3G and then to the next when there is a more developed one out there. You can go straight onto 5G."
As far as Glo is concerned, industry experts believe the company's data market share of 1.12% does not justify an investment of US$30-million for a spectrum license.
The company has stressed that even though it is a 3G network, "it is still offering Ghana's highest data speed and most affordable bundles."