MTN Uganda Prepping For 4G LTE Deployment


According to a press release on its website, MTN Uganda plans to deploy Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in Uganda during the coming months. MTN Uganda has the largest mobile subscriber base in Uganda and will over the next month provide it’s  clients with even faster internet speeds of up to 100Mbps.

LTE is a 4G wireless communications standard developed by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that’s designed to provide up to 10x the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices such as smartphonestabletsnetbooksnotebooks and wireless hot-spots. 4G technologies are designed to provide IP-based voice, data and multimedia streaming at speeds of at least 100 Mega bits per second and up to as fast as 1 Giga Bits per second.

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The Telecom has been investing in network infrastructure lately and just at the end of last year, it commissioned another data centre at Mutundwe just outside Kampala City center aimed at providing it’s business customers converged communication solutions. The Telecom has also been laying hundreds of Kilometers of fibre cables to beef-up it’s infrastructural capacity and has close to 2,600KM of cable already. Despite it’s continuing investment in infrastructure, MTN mobile money which is the mobile money transfer service from the Telecom still suffers from acute outages much to the frustration of its clients.

So far, the Telecom has 3G+ coverage with speeds upto 21.6Mbps but only in some parts of the country. With MTN Uganda 4G LTE, the speeds will boosted to a whooping 100Mbps (theoretically) delivering a seamless internet surfing experience to mobile subscribers that stream video, make video calls over Skype or similar services and generally surf the web.

MTN claims to be the first to introduce 4G LTE in the East African region according to the press release. However, as we reported last year, Smile Communication has the service already running in selected parts of Kampala and will be expanding to the whole of Kampala by February this year according to Mark Pritchard the marketing manager at Smile Communications. Also in Uganda which is part of Foris Telecom international group claims to have 4G but based on Wimax technology rather an LTE.

It’s no secret that the other Telecoms plan to upgrade their existing networks to 4G LTE in order to deliver the best internet experience to their customers. We shall keep our ears on the ground as we bring you all these developments in the coming months.

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  • What is the need of 4G and yet the internet penetration in Uganda is just not more than 600,000 Users? Comparing it with Kenya which has more than 5.5 Million and yet 3G is proven to be underutilized It doesn’t make sense to justify expenditure in the expense of service provision.

    • Bendon Wolframalpha puts internet usage at 4.491Million(13.01% of population) as of the year 2011 while Kenya’s is 11.65M(28% of population). But anyway, 4G only introduces faster internet speeds to an existing subscriber base ensuring better quality of service hence delivering value for money for mobile users. Personally i find 3G still very incapable of supporting some of the applications on my smartphone or PC via 3G modems.