MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa.   Picture: MARTIN RHODES.
MTN Group CEO Sifiso Dabengwa. Picture: MARTIN RHODES.

MTN Group said on Friday it had launched its long-term evolution (LTE) network in Uganda, making it the first mobile operator in that country to do so.

Popularly known as 4G, LTE provides mobile ultra-broadband internet access at the fastest internet speeds, giving customers the most seamless experience in data services.

MTN and Vodacom launched LTE networks in South Africa late last year.

The launch of LTE represents a "major stride" in mobile connectivity capabilities in Uganda, said Ernst Fonternel, MTN Uganda’s chief marketing officer.

The service offers almost triple the speed of any existing mobile connection available commercially in Uganda and in the region, he said.

For the customer this means you can download large files in no time, stream music videos and high definition movies without buffering and upload pictures without delay. These services will significantly transform the way you interact with the world, said Mr Fonternel.

"Our challenge isn’t keeping ahead of the other operators. It’s keeping ahead of the tidal wave of data demand both in our country and in the region," he said.

MTN Uganda plans to invest an additional $70m this year for further infrastructure development.

In terms of network infrastructure, MTN Uganda has deployed 2,800km of fibre backbones. "Another 400km of fibre is currently under deployment between Mutundwe in Kampala and Kyenjojo district in Western Uganda and should be completed within the coming months," said Rami Farah, MTN Uganda’s chief technical officer.