As telecom companies in Africa continue to scramble to adopt next-generation mobile services to boost the revenue, MTN Zambia has commercially launched Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network in the country.
The company said the launch of the LTE, 4G network is part of a bigger network transformation plan that has been under way for the past few years. MTN is Africa's largest telecom operator, with a presence in over 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
The LTE network boosts MTN's profile in Southern Africa, where Vodacom and Cell C, among others, already offer LTE services. Angolan mobile operator Movitel was the first company in Africa to launch commercial LTE network last year. Namibia and South Africa are some of the countries in Africa that have also commercialized LTE.
MTN Zambia CEO Abdul Ismail said the launch of the LTE network in the country represents a major stride in mobile connectivity capabilities in the country.
"The launch further emphasizes MTN's commitment in not just transforming its own network but also the businesses of its corporate and small and medium enterprise customers while contributing positively to the overall development of the ICT sector in Zambia," Ismail said at the launch of the network last week.
The company said the launch of LTE network involves only the first phase of the system in the country, and will cover only Zambia's four major cities, including Lusaka and Livingstone. The operator said it plans to expand LTE coverage to all major cities across the country.
The coming of LTE networks in Africa coupled with the improving economies in most African countries is expected to trigger higher demand for LTE-enabled mobile phones and other devices as costs come down. More operators in Africa, especially larger service provider, are looking at LTE as a technology growth path because it offers a greater variety of service options than earlier mobile technologies.