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LTE network launch for Ghana in Q1 2014

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Ghana is planned to get an LTE network thanks to a partnership agreement between Ghanaian company Surfline Communications Limited and telecommunications giant Alcatel-Lucent.

The announcement has been made at the LTE Africa 2013 event being held in Cape Town, South Africa.

According to Surfline chief executive officer Dr. Yaw Akoto, the Ghanaian LTE network is expected to be the first commercial deployment of LTE technology.

“We are expecting that this deployment will meet the increasing demand for data services, the focus will primarily be data and not voice,” said Dr. Yaw Akoto.

Meanwhile, wholly Ghanaian owned company, Surfline aims to roll out the first phase of the network by the end of the first quarter in 2014.

Surfline’s business model will, at the start, be aimed at the high-end of the consumer market as well as the growing small and medium enterprise market in Ghana. Initial coverage will be in the capital city of Accra and be followed by further roll-out into the major metropolitan areas and finally the country at large.

“We are happy and proud to be partnering with Surfline. Over the past while Alcatel-Lucent has been refining our strategies and we have developed a very strong company focus on what we call ultra-broadband and this partnership with Surfline exactly fits in with this core focus of providing this ultra-broadband,” explained Daniel Jaeger, vice-president of Alcatel-Lucent Africa

“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,” continued Jaeger.

This is a so-called greenfield operation and so the partnership agreement will see Alcatel-Lucent provide hardware and software, along with installation, optimisation, maintenance and managed services.

“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,” explained John Taylor, executive chairman, Surfline.

The new IP architecture-based network will give Surfline the ability to quickly and economically expand mobile broadband capacity as customer demand grows. The 4G LTE network will provide Surfline customers access to social networking sites, internet browsing, e-mail, online gaming, streamed videos and video calling with dramatically increased performance.

“LTE Lends itself to many things, there is a lot of room to add more value. The business is there in Ghana but they cannot expand because of the lack of networks. We are looking at that because we need to make a big difference to the growth of the business sector in Ghana,” said Dr. Akoto.

Akoto and Surfline believe the Ghanaian market has matured beyond the products and services currently available with specific emphasis in the data sector. As a data-centric communications provider Surfline will work to address national requirements for broadband connectivity that will greatly contribute to Ghana’s social and economic growth.

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