MTN Ghana Reports 900MHz, 3G Success

(08 Mar 2010, BWCS Staff)

MTN Ghana says it has concluded trials of the first 900MHz UMTS network in Africa. The company, which has been working with Swedish vendor Ericsson on the system, claims that the tests show that it is possible to build and expand cost effective nation-wide mobile broadband coverage. Ericsson echoed the sentiments and pointed out that the addition of UMTS at 900MHZ will compliment city wide coverage at 2,100MHz for UMTS services where it will help with in-building coverage.

According to Lars Lindén, President of Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, "By leveraging off their existing installed 3G Radio Access Network and enabling UMTS in 900MHz, not only can voice, video and high speed data calls be carried over the network, but operators benefit from having one network delivering all services with the lowest total cost of ownership."

A report by the GSM Association recently indicated that services using the 900MHz frequency can offer increases of 44% in urban coverage for UMTS and 119% in rural coverage. This is primarily due to the propagation characteristics of the lower frequency band and leads directly to lower Capex and increased mobility benefits.

In July 2008 Vodafone reportedly paid around £480 million, for a 66.7% stake in MTN Ghana's rival Ghana Telecom.However, in May 2009 the new government set up a ministerial committee to review the sale and it recommended that the government seek to renegotiate the terms of the deal.


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