A subsidiary of MTN Nigeria, Visafone, has announced the test run of its Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) internet technology service for smartphone users.
The company stated that it hopes to use this to drive broadband penetration from under 10 percent presently to the targeted 30 per cent by 2018, in line with the federal government’s broadband plan and target.
The launch of 4G LTE services by the merged entity of MTN and Visafone would roll-out superior high-speed internet services in major cities, empowering Nigerians with the latest mobile broadband technology.
“Our recent licence acquisition further demonstrates our faith in the future of Nigeria. We believe in supporting the positive transformation of Nigeria and we have demonstrated this belief through the level of our investment since 2001, which currently stands at approximately $16 billion,” an MTN executive, Amina Oyagbola, disclosed.
Speaking to the specifics of the test-run and subsequent launch, General Manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN Nigeria, Richard Iweanoge, said the 4GLTE technology would be launched with the sole objective of providing Nigerians with the best, fastest and most competitive ICT services for all stakeholders.
“We are pleased to set the pace once again as we break new boundaries with this test run, which will be available for now for our Visafone customers, who are provisioned on the 800MHz band. When we roll-out fully, especially with our 2.6GHz spectrum, the launch will help to enhance customer experience for our over 60 million subscribers, while ensuring greater coverage, access, affordability and ultimately a smart lifestyle for everyone,” he said.
The 4GLTE roll-out is a demonstration of the company’s commitment to accelerate the achievement of the country’s targeted broadband penetration by 2018. MTN acquired the former Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network operator for N47, 461,292,443 to allow it utilise Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum to launch 4GLTE services.
MTN will use Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum to launch Fourth Generation Voice over Long Term Evolution (4G VoLTE). The 800MHz frequency band covers 790-862MHz. Together with the 700MHz both are referred to as the Digital Dividend Spectrum by the ITU.