Safaricom has been testing its LTE for some months now. But the West Africa brotehrs have beaten us to the game. The Nigeria’s second-largest operator Globacom made a move into LTE. This has suprised many in the industry. The firm said that it is launching services for “demanding corporate customers and high data users.”

The group Chief Operating Officer, Mohamed Jameel, said that although Globacom’s users could “already browse the internet or send e-mails using HSPA-enabled systems and send or receive video or music using G phones,” the experience with LTE would be “even better… It will further enhance more demanding applications like interactive TV, mobile video blogging, advanced games or professional services, enabling more Nigerians to be on top of their game.” Specific details of the launch were not revealed.

Globacom is the first commercial LTE operator in Africa. In June 2010, South Africa’s Vodacom tested teh technology and Safaricom did the test in October of the same year. According to a recent Wireless Intelligence report, Africa is expected to be the world’s slowest region to move to LTE, accounting for only 1 percent of the global LTE market base by 2015. To date Europe’s TeliaSonera, US operator Verizon Wireless and Japan’s NTT Docomo have been the industry’s highest-profile LTE supporters.

Although LTE is always called 4G, the 4G is actually LTE advanced and it is backward compatible with LTE. LTE is not backward compatible with 3G. The LTE specification provides downlink peak rates of at least 100 Mbps, an uplink of at least 50 Mbps and RAN round-trip times of less than 10 ms. LTE supports scalable carrier bandwidths, from 1.4 MHz to 20 MHz