ACCRA Aug 19 Ghana company Surfline
Communications launched the country's first 4G data network on
Tuesday in partnership with French technology company
Alcatel-Lucent, making Ghana the sixth nation in
sub-Saharan Africa to get the high speed service.
The wholly-owned company invested more than $100 million for
the first phase of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, which
has 300 cell sites, according to Chairman John Taylor, who owns
a string of oil-related businesses, and wholly owns Surfline.
The pre-paid data-only service is available in the capital
and the nearby port city of Tema, but Taylor said Surfline aimed
to go nationwide within two years.
"We want to fill the void by providing high speed
connectivity to facilitate e-education, e-commerce and
facilitate long distance activities especially by people living
outside the cities," Taylor said.
South Africa's MTN is the dominant mobile phone
company in the West African state, less than 20 percent of whose
population uses the Internet. Rapid cell and internet growth
across Africa is making it an increasingly attractive
proposition for companies looking to sell data services.
(Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg and