KAMPALA, Uganda – MTN Uganda has today launched countrywide 4G coverage in Uganda, extending the latest broadband technology to all major towns. This latest investment for the first time now takes the MTN 4G experience beyond Kampala, across all corners of the country, to enable high speed internet access for its customers.
MTN first rolled out 4G technology in 2013, at the time limited to only Kampala City and Entebbe. This allowed MTN to trial the LTE technology.
In line with the vision to lead the delivery of a bold new Digital World, MTN is continuing to invest heavily in technologies that conveniently facilitate both business and other aspects of life in a digital world.
In 2014 alone, the company invested a total of UGX. 171 billion, 35% (UGX. 60bn) directly to building network capacity, coverage and guaranteeing an even richer customer experience on MTN Uganda’s data network. The total investment in 2015 is expected to reach UGX. 85 billion.
This investment has seen MTN build the largest and widest 4G network in the country, with a total of 75 LTE sites so far operational. This is in addition to the already existing coverage of 1,492 2G sites and 591 3G sites.
What LTE is
Also known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE), 4G technology is a worldwide efficient mobile broadband technology that enables improved speeds and superior internet user experience. It offers great data transfer speeds and the shortest latency times, allowing users to have a seamless, uninterrupted download experience.
It enables you to stream clear, crisp video, download songs in a few beats, download apps almost instantly, and so much more.
“The launch of LTE represents a major development in mobile connectivity and capability in Uganda, enabling access to this revolutionary technology on the MTN network. The service has the potential to operate at speeds of up to 100mbps, which is almost triple the speed of any existing mobile connection available commercially in Uganda, and the wider region,” said MTN Uganda CTO, Rami Farah.
MTN’s 4G Coverage
This year’s rollout of 4G/LTE covers all major towns, including Kampala, Entebbe, Mbale, Mbarara, Lira, Arua, Gulu, Kabale, Kasese, Fort Portal, Moroto, Masaka and Jinja. This in addition to the already existing country-wide coverage of 3G. Attached is an illustration of MTN Uganda’s 4G/LTE coverage.
Currently, the total number of internet users in Uganda is estimated at just over 6.8 million of which about 3.4million are mobile data subscribers. Compared with the voice penetration of 53%, data penetration is still very low at just 25%.
MTN Uganda is taking initiative, not only to bring the internet to some communities for the first time, but also to upgrade those using traditional technologies like 2G to faster and wider 3G internet connectivity. Users of current technologies now have the opportunity to upgrade to even faster speeds on the 4G network.
“Mobile users like to download videos and music; playing games, sharing photos and streaming sports content, all on their mobile devices and have a need for enhanced and uninterrupted experience. With this latest rollout of 4G, MTN promises to offer an enhanced and seamless user experience, lower latency and high spectral efficiency. This also means that a higher number of data users can be serviced without compromising the quality of service they receive,” said Mr. Brian Gouldie, MTN Uganda CEO.
“We are confident that we have made significant milestones in providing access to this technology and are happy to be able to offer our customers the LTE experience over our world-class MTN network,” Mr Gouldie added.
Ericsson estimates that doubling the speed of broadband can directly impact the GDP growth by 0.3%, while according to UNESCO, for every 10% increase in data penetration, developing countries could add as much as 1.3% growth to their GDP. Such is the significance of internet in the modern era.
Through its latest efforts, MTN Uganda aims to continue to extend internet access to the majority of Ugandans who still don’t have access to the internet; demonstrated by its investment in the largest 3G and 4G networks in Uganda as well as recent announcement of an aggressive reduction on its internet bundles, enabling its customers to connect to the digital world on a world class MTN network.
Customers will need a 4G-capable device and a SIM card upgrade to be able to enjoy the 4G experience, available at any MTN Service Centre across the country’