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Seychelles first to get Airtel 4G

Seychelles first to get Airtel 4G.

Telecoms services provider Bharti Airtel has selected the Seychelles as the first African country to launch its commercial long term evolution (LTE)/4G network.

Sub-Saharan African nation Seychelles has a population of more than 89,000 people, according to the World Bank.

With the roll out of a 4G network by Airtel, Seychelles joins a list of other African nations, including Ghana, Rwanda, South Africa and Zimbabwe, that offer this network.

Airtel, a leading telecoms services provider in Seychelles, says it expects the network to cover 10,000 LTE subscribers in the first phase.

The infrastructure is a new, nationwide LTE 800 MHz network, which will meet the growing customer demand for mobile broadband services and deliver superior network performance, says Airtel in a statement.

Somasekhar Vellapakkam Ganapathy, executive operations director for Airtel Africa, told ITWeb Africa that ICT development in Seychelles is very matured and developed.

"I think its a very high end tourism spot - so 4G is a natural evolution.

"Looking at data capable devices, capability of the consumer, lifestyle and so forth confirms that the Seychelles is ready to move from 3G to 4G," he said.

According to Ganapathy Seychelles is the right country to launch the Company's first 4G network on the continent.

Airtel in Seychelles has market share of over 60%, he told ITWeb Africa.

He added, Seychelles is ready for a 4G network.

"We believe the development of 4G in Seychelles is absolutely right for us," he said.

Ganapathy told ITWeb Africa that Airtel also plans to roll-out 4G to other countries where it operates.

However, he did not reveal which African nation Airtel plans focus on next.

The Indian headquartered has operations in 17 African countries with over 68.3 million subscribers on the continent.

Meanwhile, Seychelles was named one of the highest placed African countries in terms of the International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) ICT Development Index.

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