Smile, Surfline compete with Orange and Vodafone to bring LTE to Africa

LTE network deployments in Africa are growing at a rapid clip, up to 34 in February from 22 in mid-2014, according to research firm Ovum. While the number and breadth of network rollouts are clearly still far behind those in Europe, North America and Asia, Africa is providing a fertile breeding ground for different LTE service propositions, such as mobile as an alternative to fixed-line services. Further, LTE deployments have come not only from established operators like Orange (which has so far launched LTE services in Mauritius and Botswana) as well as Vodacom and MTN in South Africa, but also a new breed of data-only LTE players. Some of them include Surfline in Ghana and Smile Communications, which has launched services in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda and plans to start operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in July. For more on how the LTE market in Africa is evolving, check out this FierceWireless:Europe special report