Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA), the state-owned Liberian regulatory body for communication, said that it is planning to launch an investigation into mobile service operator Cellcom’s claim that it can provide 4G services.
The LTA said that as far as their records can show, Cellcom does not have the right licence to provide 4G services and was only issued with a license to install and operate a UMTS-HSPA network in the country.
“The Technical Authorization in said license provides for: Broadband Voice services, Mobile broadband wireless data services and applications Broadband Internet/ data services [as well as] Multimedia services,” the LTA said in a statement.
The body also confirmed that an investigation is due to get underway soon. “With regard to Cellcom’s claim of having 4G capability, the LTA has embarked on an investigation exercise to determine the veracity of this claim as is being advertised by Cellcom,” it continued.
Cellcom’s 4G network has been widely publicised in the country, and the launch of the network was attended by the Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Amb. Joseph N. Boakai. The network claims that their 4G audio and video output is the first of its kind in Liberia.
The LTA has also announced that it has become aware of other operators claiming to have network capabilities for which they do not have a license – such as Lonestarcell MTN. According to the LTA, Lonestarcell’s WiMax Technical Authorization provides for “Fixed Voice Services, Internet Services Second (2G) and Third (3G) Generation Data Services.”
According to Liberia’s The New Dawn “LTA says it is launching a full scale investigation aimed at obtaining all the facts and relevant information surrounding this sector situation in order to correct any anomalies that may exist in this regard.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor