Network of Communication Reporters (NCR) has welcomed the new entrant into the local telecoms market, Surline Communications Limited, operators of the first 4G LTE network in the country.
In a statement jointly signed by NCR President Charles Benoni Okine and Head of PR, Samuel Dowuona, the group congratulated Surfline for its courage in launching a 4G LTE network in Ghana at a time when 4G enabled devices are largely lacking, and existing operators are complaining of dwindling revenues due to stiff competition.
“But it is also refreshing to note that Surfline comes at a time when there is need for some fresh injection of quality of experience as subscribers of the services of the existing networks generally complain of poor quality of service and lower than expected customer experience,” the statement said.
The group noted that the superiority of the 4G LTE technology, which promises far better customer experience than its predecessor, gives Surfline an edge over competition, and for that matter it would be expected to meet the expectations of Ghanaians for better service.
NCR believes in a global village where Ghanaian students, corporate executives, businesses and citizens in general are competing for the same opportunities with their counterpart overseas, the best of data technology is key to how effectively Ghanaians could access those opportunities.
“We acknowledge that the existing telcos and ISPs have been very capable partners of businesses, students and people of all walks of life in their quest to communicate effectively and to access opportunities, as well as content for academic, business, and entertainment purposes in a timeous fashion. But on the back of a 4G LTE network, Surfline would be expected to deliver even better support for all these groups of persons,” the statement said.
NCR said it has taken note that Surfline has deployed 220 cell sites in close proximity to each other across Accra and Tema, acquired bandwidth from three fibre optics vendors and built a more than US$100million worth of a network in partnership with some of the best industry technology partners.
This, NCR believes, should make the Surfline network robust enough to support and optimize its 4G LTE technology to the benefit of Ghanaians.
“While we welcome Surfline and expect that they will deliver on the promise of better customer experience, we trust that affordability will be a guiding principle, particularly at this time when data services are increasingly becoming affordable across the world,” NCR said.
The statement said, NCR is aware Surfline and the two other Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licensees have up to five years to cover 60% of all district capitals the country.
On that score, “we would also like to urge you to quickly expand to districts in the other regions so the greater majority of Ghanaians would get to benefit from the superior internet experience 4G LTE promises.”
NCR would also like to urge the two other Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) licensees, Blu Telecommunications and Goldkey Telecommunications to rollout before the 18 months deadline, which ends in November 2014, so that Ghanaians would have the benefit of choice.
“We would also like to congratulate the regulator, National Communications Authority for creating the environment for more investors to have confidence in the telecoms market. But we would urge that subsequent licensees, if ever, should be limited to coverage for specific communities in the country instead of making it nationwide and piling choices in the capital city,” NCR said.
NCR believes that will help Ghana avoid the situation in other jurisdictions where some players were forced to fold up because of too much competition and its attendant dwindling revenues and non-profitability.
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