Cellcom Liberia is the GSM operator that was acquired earlier this year by Orange. It is the same operator that launched a 3.75G (HSPA+) network in 2012 but went to town claiming to be the first mobile operator in Liberia to launch a 4G network (reminds one of Glo Nigeria’s claim of a 4G network in 2011). Back then, Liberia Telecommunications Authority (LTA) debunked the claim in a statement that made it clear that Cellcom had no 4G license and offered only 2G and 3G services.
Now, the same network is claiming to be the first mobile operator to launch a 4G+ LTE network in April 2016. In reality, this “4G+ LTE” is actually actually just Cellcom finally launching a 4G LTE network. Maximum speed is 150 Mbps. Cellcom’s 4G network runs on LTE Band 3 (1800Mhz).
In 2015, the Liberia Telecommunications Authority implemented a new Universal License Regime, which allows operators to deploy a wide range of technologies without having to seek an individual license for each technology. It is a technology neutral license. This means that once an operator has a Universal License, they can deploy LTE or any new technology without restrictions. Cellcom immediately grabbed a UL. The result is this launch of a proper 4G LTE network now branded as 4G+. Talk of hype.
If you are in Liberia and interested in 4G data, get a Cellcom SIM, dial *474# on your phone and follow the message prompts to subscribe to a data plan. Dial *124# or *475# to check your data balance. To check whether your phone is compatible with Cellcom’s 4G network, dial *583#.
Initial coverage is limited to Montserrado County though, but will be extended to other counties over time.