Graphic Business News

MTN acquires selected assets of Goldkey • Move to boost 4G services • Customers won’t pay extra for enhanced service

By: Charles Benoni Okine

As part of its network expansion plan, Scancom Plc, (MTN Ghana) has confirmed the acquisition of what it described as “the individually identifiable and selected assets of Goldkey Limited including its spectrum in 2600 MHz band”.
Goldkey acquired the 2600 MHz band licence from the National Communications Authority (NCA) some years back but for some unexplained reasons, the company has not been able to use it.

The Corporate Services Executive of MTN, Mr Sam Koranteng, who confirmed this to the GRAPHIC BUSINESS on March 21, said: “We did not buy shares in the company.”
He did not elaborate further on the matter which some analysts have described as a positive move by MTN to dominate the market by ensuring continuous investment in its network.

Cost of 4G+ to MTN
About the cost of the 4G+ to MTN Ghana the Corporate Services Executive said: “Unlike the 4G licence which was acquired through a competitive bidding and led by the National Communications Authority, the 4G spectrum was a private agreement between us and a private company and we are not minded to disclose the amount. 

4G+ and the customer
Asked about whether the introduction of the 4G+ will bring additional cost to the consumers on its network, he said: “4G+ is a great new experience for mobile subscribers. Customers will pay the same rate for data bundles on 4G+ and continue to enjoy the 50 per cent bonus on all data bundle purchases.
“Additionally, download speeds will be enhanced greatly for video and gaming content.”
For instance, Mr Koranteng said a daily bundle of 25MB was “GH₵ 0.50, midnight bundle of 2GB is 1 GH₵. We also have the lifestyle bundles and the Kokrokoo bundle.”

Nationwide network
Asked about whether the company has its 4G network across the country, he replied in the positive saying: “We have 4G coverage all over Ghana and in regional capitals and districts.
According to him, since the launch of the 4G service in 2016, MTN Ghana has deployed 1,226 total 4G LTE sites of which 625 sites are 4G+ across all regions. 
Mr Koranteng said: “The spectrum we acquired from Goldkey has been further enhanced to produce the 4G+ technology. We have plans for further extension to enhance customer experience.”

Nationwide rollout plan
Mr Koranteng said plans for full national coverage are ongoing, adding that: “As we usually do, we will share details of our full rollout plan for 2019 in due course.”

4G launch
MTN launched its 4G+ service on March 18th to provide faster data speeds with widest coverage for its customers.
The 4G+ service runs on 4G LTE Advanced technology using the combination of the 800MHz and 2600MHz for carrier aggregation which is an enhancement of the 4G LTE experience.