Expert Touts Economic Benefits Of 4G LTE

Sarfo-PeprahMR. Kofi A. Sarfo, Chief Executive Officer, El Cuto Consult Limited, an information technology company, has described the launch of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) onto the Ghanaian market as a boost for the Ghanaian economy.

He said the introduction of 4G services would play a large part in stimulating a 21st century digital infrastructure to serve consumers, businesses and the economy for the future.

Surfline Communications, an indigenous company last week launched Ghana’s first 4G LTE in Accra.

The fourth generation of mobile technology, known as 4G is the next step in the evolution of mobile network technology.

It is built specifically to handle mobile internet and data more efficiently, allowing faster and more reliable mobile connectivity in a world where data usage is increasing 250 per cent year-on-year.

To date, more than 40 countries have rolled out 4G and are already reaping the benefits of faster mobile networks.

These nations include economic powerhouses such as the USA, Russia and Japan, and also smaller countries such as Angola, Kyrgyzstan and Tanzania.

Mr. Sarfo said these countries were investing in 4G because they realised that technology was an engine for economic growth, one that would help existing businesses to grow while encouraging investment from overseas.

“All businesses that require connectivity, for example those that operate in entertainment, media and e-commerce, are set to benefit from faster and more reliable mobile data services, improving efficiency and productivity,” he said.

He said for developing countries such as Ghana where access to fixed line broadband connections are limited, 4G would bring super-high-speed connectivity for the first time and help them compete on a global scale.

“There will also be significant gains for workers who use some form of mobile device. Many workers already use mobile internet on a daily basis for business purposes, such as checking e-mail or accessing documents,” he said.

Mr. Sarfo said 4G would stimulate more efficient ways of working, such as allowing people to work remotely and exploit cloud services via their mobile devices.

The benefits of 4G to the economy are also significant. Recent research into the potential of 4G in the UK economy by Capital Economics estimates that the UK’s adoption of the new technology could unlock £5.5bn of direct private investment.

This research also found 4G would support 125,000 jobs and ultimately provide a 0.5 per cent boost to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Throwing more light on the benefits of 4G LTE, he said it offers increase in capacity and speed, giving data transfer rate which is 10 times faster than those of the existing mobile operators and internet service providers in Ghana.

“LTE network has an amazing speed; increased bandwidth leads to much faster data transfer speed, which is especially advantageous for mobile devices such as modems, routers among others,” he said.

He said: “The biggest beneficiaries are data consumers. To voice users, it will not make much difference since LTE networks in Ghana are doing data only and not voice. Mobile phone users will therefore have to connect to a Wi-Fi which is connected to the LTE network to enjoy the high speed data exchanges.

On the challenges that come with 4G LTE, he said it shortens battery life as it takes up approximately three times as much battery power as 3G on mobile devices.

“In Ghana, since 4G networks are not doing voice, it means existing mobile phone users cannot port to 4G networks to enjoy the 4G, even though we have Mobile Number Portability. They will have to incur extra cost to acquire a modem or a router or another mobile device (from the 4G network operator) to be able to enjoy the 4G experience,” he said.

By David Adadevoh

 

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