Blu Telecoms (formerly G-Kwik net), one of the Ghanaian companies in possession of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE)-suitable spectrum, is reportedly planning to launch commercial operations in 2014. According to local news outlet Modern Ghana, Blu Telecoms CCO Tara Squire said: ‘We know what consumers pay for data on the 3G networks currently and we plan on keeping our tariffs at that level even though we will be giving them way better customer experience and faster internet speeds.’ The executive stated that the company is currently investing ‘tens of millions of dollars’ on basic infrastructure components, including a data centre, billing system and distribution network. Squire added: ‘We are almost done with the data centre with Huawei as [our] network partner – we’ve just signed on a company called Alepo as our billing partner and we have together started building the billing system; we have already built the first few towers in parts of Accra.’
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in February 2013 Ghana’s National Communications Authority (NCA) issued three technology-neutral broadband wireless access (BWA) licences in the 2500MHz to 2690MHz band that allow for the provision of 4G services. Surf Line, Gold Key Properties and G-Kwik net each paid USD6 million for the BWA concessions, which allow them to launch LTE or WiMAX data-only services. Under the terms set out by their authorisations, the licensees must launch their respective networks by end-November 2014; all three companies need to cover 50% of all districts in five years. Subsequently, the three companies will be allowed to offer voice services over their 4G networks after six years of operation.