Vodafone acquires 4G spectrum for $30million

Vodafone Ghana has purchased a 2x5MHz frequency spectrum block in the 800 MHz Band for mobile services which will allow it to provide 4g services to its customers.

According to a statement issued by the National Communications Authority (NCA) the licence cost Vodafone $30,000,000 after successful financial negotiations.

“This is the result of the process which began in September 2018 when the NCA published a Request for Applications (RFA) and made available three (3) lots of 2x5MHz in the 800MHz band. Two (2) companies submitted applications, with Vodafone emerging as the only successful applicant,” the statement said.

“The sale of the Spectrum is in line with Section 58 of Electronic Communications Act 2008, Act 775 on Spectrum Management which highlights the NCA’s mandate and the options for Frequency Assignment”.

 

What is 4G?

4G simply stands for fourth generation, and it’s called that because it’s the fourth generation of mobile technology, following on from 2G and 3G.

4G is sometimes referred to as LTE (Long Term Evolution) and it’s similar in a lot of ways to 3G, as it allows you to use data to browse the net, play online games, download and stream, and more, but it does so a lot faster than 3G.

As such, it’s a big part of why our phones have become more like computers. As not only have their processors got faster, but their ability to do things online has too.

 

How fast is 4G?

Standard 4G, which is what all UK networks initially launched, offers average download speeds of around 14Mbps, which is roughly three times as fast as standard 3G (which averages around 3Mbps), and more than twice as fast as 3G HSPA+, which is a more advanced form of 3G, with average download speeds of around 6Mbps.

However, while averaging around 14Mbps, standard 4G is theoretically capable of far higher speeds, potentially topping out at around 150Mbps. In short then, 4G is a lot faster than 3G, meaning you can have a far smoother experience online.

As an example, you could download a 2GB file (such as a film or a big game) in 3 minutes and 20 seconds using standard 4G, while it would take close to half an hour when using 3G.

There’s a similarly big difference with upload speeds – using standard 4G you can expect typical speeds of around 8Mbps and theoretical top-end upload speeds of around 50Mbps, while standard 3G averages roughly 0.4Mbps and HSPA+ averages around 3Mbps.

 

And we’re only talking about standard 4G here – some networks now offer improved versions of the technology with even higher speeds. We’ll look at them below.

 

What other advantages does 4G have?

The main other advantage you get from 4G is reduced latency. This is the measure of how long the network takes to respond to a request and it’s measured in milliseconds. It might therefore sound like a reduction wouldn’t make much difference, but for some things it really can.

For example, if you’re playing a fast-paced online game then a low latency can be vitally important as you need to respond instantly to what’s happening.

Latency using 3G stands at around 120ms, but according to the OpenSignal Mobile Networks Update from April 2018, the UK’s 4G networks are averaging around 45ms. So it’s a big difference.

Another potential advantage of 4G is clearer voice calls, as 4G can carry more data. The caveat here is that not all networks allow you to call over 4G (usually referred to as either 4G Calling or VoLTE).

 

Find below the full NCA statement

The National Communications Authority (NCA) announces for the information of the general public that Ghana Telecommunications Company Limited (Vodafone Ghana) has won one (1) lot of 2x5MHz frequency spectrum block in the 800 MHz Band for mobile services following successful financial negotiations.

This is the result of the process which began in September 2018 when the NCA published a Request for Applications (RFA) and made available three (3) lots of 2x5MHz in the 800MHz band. Two (2) companies submitted applications, with Vodafone emerging as the only successful applicant.

Vodafone Ghana, thus, has been provisionally awarded one (1) lot of 2×5 MHz in the 800 MHz Band at a price of Thirty Million United States Dollars (US$30,000,000.00).

It will be recalled in September this year, the Authority’s public call for a ‘Request for Applications’ inviting applications from eligible Entities for the grant of a licence to establish, maintain and operate Mobile Services in the 800 MHz band, resulted in the submission of two (2) applications.

 

The sale of the Spectrum is in line with Section 58 of Electronic Communications Act 2008, Act 775 on Spectrum Management which highlights the NCA’s mandate and the options for Frequency Assignment.

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