Since implementing its new 4G LTE technology in mid-May, MTC says it is impressed with the overwhelming migration of its high post-paid user customers which significantly uses notable data processed by the network.
MTC launched its new 4G LTE technology exactly three months ago, and already has more than 1,000 post-paid subscribers enjoying the experience, says Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer at MTC.
We are surprised by the huge number of up take in such a short space of time and our customers have given us very positive feedback on the incredible speeds they now enjoy. According to Ekandjo, since 4G has been launched, it is now already processing 23% of the total data usage on the entire MTC network which he describes as a magnificent relieve to the 3G and 2G networks. It also shows the capacity we have on 4G and of course its huge acceptance as a preferred network by customers who have experienced it.
Interesting to note, is that these customers are now producing more than 1.6 Gigabytes per single day, which is comparatively equal to 1,000 HD Movies, or impressively equal to 300,000 music files or 750,000 e-mail’s with attachments of 2Megabytes.
This tremendous usage of the above 1,000 customers, who are using more than 1.6 Gigabyte per day, generating the above 1.6 Terabytes was reached in the first 3 months. According to Ekandjo, it took the 3G Network almost 4 years to achieve the same usage, that is, usage of 1.6 Terabytes per day from December 2006, when 3G was launched, to October 2010, when 3G usage reached the same 1,6 Terabyte usage, while 4G achieved this in only 3 months.
Adds Ekandjo in a statement, “MTC clearly communicated at the 4G launch that 4G coverage will systematically be rolled out in three phases, first phase with a limited coverage in Windhoek at the date of the launch, the second phase to reach the 40 eNodeB (the 4GLTE radio stations) in Windhoek announced to be completed at end of July, which is now (the coverage map is available to view on http://www.netman.com.na/netman4G/map.php), and the third phase is expected to be completed at the end of the 2013 quarter, to cover all the towns in Namibia and also some rural areas.”
Ekandjo rubbished allegations in a recent article that appeared in a newspaper last Friday, titled “MTC’s 4G service erratic”. This statement is baseless and in total contradiction of the excellent performance delivered by 4G at the moment, not because we say so, but as a testimony of our customers experiencing the 4G network, and also based on the usage as explained earlier. It beats me to understand why the journalist picks on 4G to blame while I clearly explained in my reply that a recent incident that happened on our network on Friday the 3rd of August had absolutely nothing to do with 4G LTE Network. It is definitely not the first time that the same paper decides to deliberately attack our 4G LTE technology without understanding the issue and having been provided with the explanations
Indeed, and in the interest of our customers, on the 3rd August; our prepaid system had some erratic problems that rejected some data sessions of our prepaid customers. To correct the issues a patch was installed on the prepaid system. However, to ensure that we don’t block the service during that hour when we were busy, a bypass was done to the system, which meant that during that one hour the system was not charging. As a result of that, some customers detected that the system did not charge and immediately generated a lot of additional calls which produced some congestion during that hour. One local radio station even announced that MTC is not charging. For information, a total of 6 million minutes in that hour was generated and that was the reason why some calls got rejected and messages delayed.
Ekandjo stressed that 4G has absolutely nothing to do with the situation that happened on the prepaid system because 4G is not even connected to prepaid system but only to postpaid, and in addition to that, the 4G network is totally separate from the 2 and 3G network (which used the same core) on which the problem occurred. Having provided these explanations the journalist still decided to blame 4G which is very unfortunate.
As a company, we have planned carefully before launching our 4G service and it was not a decision that was agreed overnight. We at MTC took all of the correct preparatory measures to launch 4G, i.e. internet capacity connectivity via the submarine cable WACS and redundancy through SA, the backbones and the backhauls, and also the right core and radio network and that is why it is doing so well. It is important to stress that 4G LTE, participation an undersea cable WACS, and the national fibre represents an investment over N$400mn. Ekandjo also explained that there is no lack of capacity on 4G as alleged in the article because, in a nutshell, the 4G network is only for data, for now.
We would like to thank all our customers for having successfully evolved to the 4G network and thank them for all the positive feedback and we will continue to provide only world class services, we are the second to launch 4G LTE in Africa connecting a through a national DWDM40G fibre (means a dense wavelength division multiplexing, the latest fibre backbones of the world), which provide a tremendous fast internet access not only to 4G but also to 3G, with a wide redundancy through South Africa connected to other submarine cables, in the best interest of our customers, Ekandjo concluded.