By the end of 2017, all but one (Airtel) Mobile Network Operators in Nigeria were engaged in some level of LTE network deployment activity.
In other words, Glo, MTN, NTEL, and 9Mobile have now deployed LTE (LTE Advanced) in some areas.
Accordingly, all have service in Lagos Island, Victoria Island, parts of Lagos mainland, substantial parts of Abuja, some areas in Benin and possibly other parts of the country.
However, Enextgen Wireless Limited tested the quality of RF deployment along evaluated routes in most of these markets.
At Enextgen Wireless, top-notch RF engineers provide detailed RF performance analysis, verification and optimization, in support of greenfield LTE deployment, LTE overlay on UMTS or CDMA, LTE capacity and coverage expansion and on-going LTE network performance improvement.
The report, which the company shared on its LinkedIn page provides some highlights on quality of services in those cities:
Lagos Island and Victoria Island in Lagos
Very good LTE coverage with Globacom offering the best quality of RF deployment.
The quality of RF deployment varies from bad to very bad for the remaining service providers.
Very poor RF deployment quality by all service providers except for Globacom Mobile.
MTN stood out as having the best RF deployment quality.
Globacom had substantial RF coverage. It also had very poor RF deployment quality. The other Network Operators had sub-optimal RF deployment quality.
LTE service was available from Globacom and Smile only, as of September 2017. The quality of RF deployment was unimpressive in both networks.
Commenting on the findings, the Company said, “Enextgen would be derelict in its obligations to the public not to comment on observations on throughput, given the many advertisement claims by Service Providers. It seems common practice for Service Providers to make claims about offered throughput that are not supportable by actual throughput measured in their networks.
“The table below shows the measured physical and application layer throughputs along the evaluated route in Victoria Island, an area targeted by the service providers for some of their best-offered throughput.
The Table shows some KPIs of the SPs for the Victoria Island Drive Route
As shown in this table, the best mean application layer throughput along the evaluated route was 11.84 Mbps, offered by Globacom. 11.84 Mbps would not ordinarily be termed ‘Broadband’ (Connect America Fund (CAM), a project that promotes broadband access for rural America, classifies 25 Mbps Download as a minimum requirement for “broadband”).
“The throughput values offered by the other service providers, as shown in the table, are less than 35 percent of that.
The Company also recognised that progress is being made in the deployment of LTE service in Nigeria.
“However, much more attention needs to be paid to basic RF deployment quality before end users can really enjoy the benefits of these deployments”, the post reads.