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 BenoniOkine 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’ revenues are allegedly dwindling due to competition.
“But it is also refreshing to note that Surfline comes at a time when there is need for some fresh inject 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, givesSurfline an edge over competition, and for that matter it would be expected to meet the expectationsof Ghanaians for better service.
NCR believes in a global village where Ghanaian students, business people 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 existing opportunities.
“We acknowledge that the existing telcos and ISPs have been very capable partners of business, students and people of all walks of life in their quest to access opportunities, and content of all forms 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 vendor 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 its hall mark, 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 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 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 would help Ghana avoid the situation in other jurisdictions where some players were forces to fold up because of too much competition and its attendant dwindling revenues and non-profitability.