Wireless broadband provider Smile Uganda has announced the consumer launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, which will provide subscribers with average download speeds of 6Mbps. Smile’s LTE network uses the 800MHz band and is currently limited in terms of coverage to Kampala, although a full national rollout is expected to see its footprint expanded to all regions within the next five years. French-US vendor Alcatel-Lucent was the sole network provider for the deployment and has been contracted to supply design, build, operate and managed services for Smile’s LTE networks in Uganda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Smile CEO Irene Charnley noted that demand for broadband services in Uganda was high, although penetration rates remained low, adding that: ‘This presents us with a huge opportunity for growth. As the internet becomes more ubiquitous and more accessible, people in Uganda have become accustomed to high quality and consistent service. True 4G LTE is the only way to meet these expectations.’ TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the network was launched in February 2013, but Smile announced this week that it has expanded availability from corporate customers to all users.
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