Operator MTN Guinea has launched the pilot phase of its 4G mobile network. The company’s initial aim is to deploy 36 sites in the greater Conakry area, allowing it to serve a potential 13% of the population.
MTN Guinea apparently intends to devote December to getting subscriber feedback on the 4G pilot and using it to improving the quality of the network.
Agence Ecofin says that this will be followed by a massive rollout with the aim of reaching 200 4G sites by June 2023. MTN Guinea will then expand the 4G network to other parts of the country until 2024. The company also plans a complete modernization process of the current network. This will begin in January 2023.
As ever, the reasoning behind the launch is said to be both to improve quality and coverage and also to meet growing demand for broadband connectivity and serve changing user habits.
The award of this license to MTN Guinea was made by the Regulatory Authority for Posts and Telecommunications (ARPT) of Guinea in early February. However, MTN Guinea is some way behind Orange, which acquired its operating title for 4G for $90 million in March 2019, launching two months later.
Still, the launch of 4G by MTN will give it the opportunity to attract new subscribers and reduce the gap with Orange in terms of market share. Recent figures are hard to find, but in late 2020, Orange was the market leader with 59% market share. MTN had 31% and Cellcom 10%.