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MTN Guinea to roll-out 3G services

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Mobile operator MTN Guinea has won a licence to provide 3G services in the small West African country.

MTN Guinea (also referred to as ‘Areeba’) says the country’s telecoms regulator L’Autorite de Regulation des Postes et Telecommunications (ARPT) has awarded it the licence on 16 August.

In December 2011, Orange Guinea launched the country’s first 3G network in the capital Conakry.

In February 2012, Cellcom Guinea followed with its 3G network, which was also at first available in Conakry.

Guinea also has two other telecoms providers: Intercel, and Lagui, of which the latter is the mobile unit of national fixed-line operator Sotelgui

Triple-digit percentage growth rates have been experienced in Guinea’s telecoms sector ever since MTN and Orange entered the country’s market , says BuddeComm research. Strong economic growth characterises the nation as a stable gross domestic product (GDP) growth RATE of approximately 5% per year is expected in 2013 and 2014, with a jump to 20% in 2015 and 2016, says BuddeComm.

Guinea, which has a population of 10.22 million according to the World Bank, is also set to have a forecasted mobile penetration rate of 67% by year-end, says research firm BuddeComm.

But despite having a competitive telecoms market with five operators and strong economic growth, BuddeComm says Guinea has a lack of broadband services resulting in an internet penetration rate of just 1.5%.

“Broadband services are still very limited and expensive. The landing of the first international fibre optic submarine cable in 2012 will have nothing short of a revolutionary effect on telecommunications in the country by dramatically reducing the cost of internet bandwidth,” says BuddeComm on its write-up on Guinea.

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