Making broadband accessible…

The United Nations (UN) has over the years made a strenuous effort to push access to internet as a right seeing the numerous benefits that can be derived from access to broadband. Regardless, internet access in sub Saharan Africa remains largely a privilege or unavailable altogether due to variety of factors.

Some of the challenges associated with provision of internet has to do with lack of requisite infrastructure or technology or in most cases cost acting as a barrier to its mass adoption. To ensure that this anomaly is fixed, a lot of multidimensional approaches – including regulator and industry-led have been adopted in many sub-Saharan countries including Ghana.

The National Communications Authority (NCA), the country’s telecoms regulator has been at the forefront of pushing the spread of broadband services by ensuring that operators are given the needed support to deploy their services to the public.

According to the Internet Live Stats, internet penetration in Ghana stands at about 29 percent, translating into about 8 million users. But in terms of fixed broadband services, the country is worse off with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) ranking Ghana’s access to broadband at 109 out of 193 countries.

This dire stat spell out the work that must be done by the five telecom operators and the numerous internet service providers operating in Ghana. There is no denying that the success of these efforts will largely be imparted on by the largest telecoms operator, MTN Ghana.

By using its sheer size, MTN alone is capable of more than doubling the number of broadband users in the country – a figure which stood at a little over 60,000. The company seems to have taken on the challenge when it committed to delivering the bold new digital world for its consumers.

Generally, two common broadband service types exist in Ghana. These are FTTX and ADSL broadband. ADSL, short for Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line, is a broadband service that relies on copper cable technology.

FTTX which is also a broadband service stands for Fiber To The X with the “X” representing a destination of choice such as home, office etc. Thus, Fiber To The Home will be “FTTH”

Unlike ADSL, FTTX uses fiber optic technology which offers speeds 100 times faster than ADSL broadband. MTN’s quest to deliver the bold new digital world is boosted by its deployment of fiber broadband technology.

For starters, one will wonder why the need for fiber broadband in the first place. There are many advantages of having fiber broadband. One of such advantages is that it offers incredible internet speeds and thereby fast internet access.

The best thing about the type of broadband service offered by MTN is that one can enjoy speeds up to 60Mbps. That means you can download movies and videos in minutes or even stream those videos seamlessly if you want to.

To access the MTN Fibre Broadband service, fiber optic cables will have be installed at a particular address of the customer’s choosing (home or office), to ensure a fast and reliable internet connection. The one-time installation payment could be made directly at an MTN office or via mobile money or at the bank whereas monthly payments or tops up can be made via their service centers, top-up vouchers. Depending on the type of service required, ie home, business or unlimited, installation fees range from GH¢150-GH¢500.

According to the World Development Report, at US$7 megabit per second, Ghana has the cheapest broadband in Africa and this is reflective on the price of broadband service offered by the country’s largest telecoms organization.

On the pricing of the MTN broadband, the lowest monthly charge is GH¢120 for 45GIG for 30 days while at the extreme end is GH¢ 8,350 for businesses offering up to 60Mbps for unlimited data package. Clearly, MTN is seeking to defeat the argument that cost remains a barrier to the adoption of broadband.

With these packages, there’s definitely a reason to connect your smart TV to stream and enjoy services from ZIPTV, NETFLIX, and Showmax (IPTV) among many others. Surely, another reason to your home and office security system to enable you monitor them from any location and

Also, businesses can take advantage of MTN fiber broadband and have smooth video conference calls in High Definition (HD) quality.

There is no doubt about the multiplier effects the internet can have on our economy. And with the dedication being exhibited by MTN to deliver a bold digital world to its customers via the access to reliable and fast internet speed, Ghanaians can only smile to the new world being offered them.

 

Contact: richard.abbey@thebftonline.com