Liberian mobile operator Cellcom, part of the Cellcom Telecommunications group, has launched what it is calling a fourth-generation (4G) mobile network in the country, offering customers advanced videocalling and high speed mobile internet access as affordable rates. However, TeleGeography notes that it is unlikely that the new infrastructure is a true 4G platform, given that in May this year Cellcom revealed it was planning to deploy a high speed HSPA+ mobile network, claiming a first for the African country. At the time, Cellcom’s CEO Avishai Marziano was quoted as saying that the 3.5G network upgrade would give customers an improved experience where it comes to browsing the web via their mobiles/PCs. ‘We are stepping up our technology a notch to give our consumers the best for their money. We are redefining cellular technology in Liberia and will provide the fastest and best quality in surfing as part of what is the vision of the mobile internet which is the key component and central service for our client,’ he said. Cellcom’s HSPA+ overlay will provide peak download data speeds of 21Mbps, roughly ten times faster than 3G, he added. However, he stopped short of providing details on what areas will be covered by the new infrastructure, or when services will be offered commercially to end users.
Earlier this month, Marziano said his firm planned to invest up to USD60 million in new mobile technologies as it looks to overhaul its network and launch improved voice and data services. With today’s announcement though, Cellcom says its 4G mobile platform brings ‘a unique and affordable suite of value added products designed for high speed internet [access]’.