MTN and Smile competes for first LTE launch in Uganda

While MTN has announced it is about to launch the first Long-Term Evolution (LTE) services to Uganda as the competition tightens as network operator competitor Smiley Telecom has already spent thousands in the same area.

MTN announced on Friday the technology for the rollout of an LTE network will be available to Ugandans soon as “the first in East Africa”.

The statement reveals intended investments of US$70 million in 2013, adding to last year’s investment of US$80 million. These strategic moves were employed to boost subscriber growth with the launch of “new innovative products and digital solutions,” according to MTN.

However, Smile Telecoms has also announced the rollout of LTE in Uganda, one of three countries it is providing the services in. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is yet to have their service launched and Tanzania’s was launched six months ago.

MTN, in comparison, launched the South African LTE network in October last year, soon after the maiden launch by Vodacom, its main competitor in the country.

While Smile Telecoms have set their LTE deadline for the end of March 2013, the MTN statement merely states that they plan to launch “over the next few months”.

Smile Telecoms has been up and running for five years and was started by the former MTN executive Irene Charnley. The company is now head to head in the race against MTN, Africa’s biggest mobile operator.

Posted in: Mobile

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