MTN Ghana is the first and only existing telco to have 4G LTE in Ghana. Most of us know that 4G speeds are faster than 3G but there is a ton of exciting information to know. After reading this post, you will have a fair idea about MTN GH’s 4G LTE, how to check if your device is compatible with 4G and if there’s a 4G cell site in your location.
MTN Ghana acquired their 4G license, or technically, their 4G 800 MHz FDD spectrum license in December 2015. They promised to launch commercially in six months and true to their word it’s operational.
MTN Ghana has so far installed 4G in four regions for 69 cell sites; 27 in Greater Accra, 27 in Ashanti, 13 in Western and 2 in the Eastern Region.
What is 4G LTE?
4G LTE is short for Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution and it is the fourth generation of mobile telecommunications technology, succeeding our beloved 3G or H / H+ (technically, HSDPA / HSPA+). This standard is designed to provide up to ten times the speeds of 3G networks for supported devices.
Theoretically, 4G LTE offers peak download of about 12.5 MB/s and peak upload of about 6.25 MB/s. We reached 3MB/s during our tests.
With 4G LTE, you can download apps from the Play Store in seconds, YouTube videos don’t buffer, streaming on Apple Music is fun and the torrent gods can download full movies in minutes. It is also fun for online multiplayer gaming.
Am I ready to port to MTN Ghana’s 4G LTE?
Before getting the 4G sim card, make sure:
- You have a 4G LTE supported device (phone/ modem/ router) which operates on MTN Ghana’s band [band 20 (800 MHz)].Original equipment manufacturers manufacture devices specific to regions and network providers. This means you can have a Samsung Galaxy S6 and still not have 4G LTE access from some network providers. Some devices are made to work with networks in North America. Others are made to work for the rest of the world (excluding North America). The catch is that all these devices can work seamlessly on almost all 3G / 2G networks anywhere in the world but when it comes to 4G LTE, the ‘bands’ issue kicks in. Visit GSMArena and search for your device, taking note of your model number, and under the “Network” section, check to see if Band 20 (800 MHz) is listed. If it is, then you’re good to go. For routers and modems, check the specs sheet or visit your manufacturer’s website for more information
- You are within the proximity of the 4G LTE cell sites. This document contains the list of all the current 69 locations. It looks like some alien language at first glance but it is actually easy to decipher. Let’s take location “AR L0316OFORIKROM_2” for example. “AR” refers to the Ashanti region, L0316 refers to the cell site and “Oforikrom” refers to the location.
Internet charges remain the same.
Now how do you get MTN’s 4G LTE
If your device supports 4G LTE and you live within the coverage of the 4G LTE network, just visit any MTN shop and request for the 4G sim. It’s currently free and with your APN as “internet”, you are good to go.
This is a bold step by MTN as the first telecom operator to offer 4G coverage in this country and not only in the Greater Accra where the other three providers are currently based. With the size of their customer base, it should gain traction quickly.
I was however expecting them to roll on a LTE band 3 (1800 MHz) due to its compatibility with North American and Global device models so that majority of users can easily be on 4G LTE, but nonetheless, this is a great start. Kudos.
If you are not sure if your device will support or not, let us know in the comment section and let see how best we can help.
Featured image credit: sg.hu