Now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s time to have a dummy’s guide to accessing and enjoying MTN Uganda’s 4G LTE. We’ve received tonnes of questions asking for clear explanations on what makes MTN Uganda’s recently launched 4G-LTE service difference from what they previously had, the kind of speeds users can expect, what devices can be supported and how to know if your current device supports it.
It’s worth noting that Vodafone’s 4G-LTE is different from MTN Uganda’s LTE, since they use different LTE technologies (refer to this comparison table). These are 10 things you must know about MTN Uganda’s 4G-LTE before you commit to sign-up.
1. So what is 4G-LTE anyway?
4G is the 4th generation of mobile network technology, giving you faster speeds and an overall better internet experience. You’ll definitely notice a difference when you’re gaming, streaming, downloading and surfing. MTN Uganda’s LTE service is based on a FD-LTE standard the same standard as your 2G and 3G which will make it easier for backward compatibility and for those who want to use their devices out of the country
2. But MTN already has 3G, why 4G?
In a nut shell- It all about speeds. MTN 4G provides lightning fast mobile internet speeds of over 100Mbps (And for the none believers, yes we tried it out and its not some kind of hoax). 4G is a data-only network for now. This means that when you make or receive a call, your service will automatically switch from 4G onto the MTN 3G network.
When you make or receive a call, you’ll notice the ‘4G’ or ‘LTE’ symbol on your screen will switch to a 3G symbol this is called backward compatibility. When you finish your call, your service will reconnect back onto 4G where available.
3. What is difference between the names LTE and 4G?
There is absolutely no difference. 4G also often referred to as LTE, stands for ‘Long Term Evolution’. Different handset manufacturers refer to both terms so on an iPhone you will see ‘LTE’ on the screen (when in 4G coverage) and in your menu settings, whereas on Android devices you could have both ‘4G’ and ‘LTE’ on your screen and in menu settings.
It’s also important to note that WiMAX and 3G-HSPA also known as 42 mbps 3G are also referred to a 4G technologies by some vendors, but they are not LTE technologies. So sometime phones with such technologies display the ‘4G’ so be careful before you buy.
4. So where can I use MTN 4G network?
The MTN 4G network is available in Kampala and major towns across Uganda in areas including Mbarara, Arua, Fort Portal, Gulu, Jinja, Kasese, Moroto, Kabale, Lira, Masaka, and Mbale.
5. Will my device always stay connected to 4G?
You might notice that your device is switching between 3G and 4G coverage as you move around – that’s because it will automatically select the strongest signal for the area you’re in. As our network continues to grow throughout the year, you will notice that your device will spend more and more time on 4G over 3G.
If you are using a dongle, MiFi or router, while connected to a laptop or computer, the device web interface will display either 4G or 3G.
You should note that 4G sucks up more battery life compared to 3G especially when it comes to smartphones, so we advice to keep your phone on 3G if you want to same some battery juice and only switch on 4G if and when necessary otherwise always carry a portable battery bank with you.
6. MTN launched 4G in 2013, what is different with the launch then and now?
MTN launched 4G in 2013, (yes the TD-LTE variant) it was very new technology and there was a lot to learn. For example, our customers using 4G then could not automatically switch between the technology and the older 3G. This meant that in areas, where MTN did not have 4G coverage, customers could not use the service. MTN has since worked with our technology partners to fix these challenges, hence the relaunched with a much more favorable and standardized FD-LTE.
MTN has extended the 4G network to more than 75 sites, covering major towns across the country.
7. How can I activate 4G on a compatible device?
|Change your network settings||Check your APN settings|
|Apple||Go to Settings > General >
Mobile Data and turn LTE/4G on
|If you manually changed your APN settings, you will need to switch them back to
|HTC||Go to Settings > Mobile Data >
Network Mode and select LTE/4G
|Huawei||Go to Settings > Mobile Networks >
Network Mode and select LTE/4G on
|Nokia||Go to Settings > Mobile Network > In
“Highest connection speed”, select 4G
|Samsung||Go to Settings > More Networks >
Network Mode and select LTE/4G
|Sony||Go to Settings > Mobile Networks >
Network Mode and select LTE/4G
|Other||Go to Settings > Mobile Network
and turn LTE/4G on
8. How can I turn off 4G on my device?
You can deactivate 4G in your phone, dongle/MiFi or tablet’s menu settings. This lets you easily turn it off and on when you want. However, if you choose this option and update your phone or tablet’s software in the future, 4G may default back ‘on’, so watch out for that.
iPhone 5: Settings>General>Cellular>Enable LTE>Toggle LTE Off
iPad w/Retina Display: Settings>Cellular Data>Enable LTE>Toggle LTE Off
iPad Mini: Settings>Cellular Data>Enable LTE>Toggle LTE Off
Galaxy S4: Settings>Connections>More networks>Mobile networks>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA (auto connect)
Galaxy Express: Settings>More settings>Mobile networks>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA (Auto mode)
Galaxy S3 4G: Settings>More settings>Mobile networks>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA (Auto mode)
Galaxy Note 2: Settings>More settings>Mobile networks>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA (Auto mode)
Lumia: Settings>Mobile network>Highest connection speed>Change to 3G
HTC One: Settings>Mobile data>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA auto
HTC One SV: Settings>Mobile network>Network mode>Change to GSM/WCDMA auto
HTC Windows Phone 8X: Settings>Mobile network>Highest connection speed>Change to 3G
Xperia Z: Settings>Wireless & Networks>More>Mobile networks>Network Mode>Change to WCDMA (preferred)/GSM
Xperia SP: Settings>Wireless & Networks>More>Mobile networks>Network Mode>Change to WCDMA (preferred)/GSM
9. Do I need a new SIM card?
Yes, You will need a new 4G SIM card. You can easily swap your old SIM card for a 4G SIM card.
10. How much more money do I have to part with for this 4G service?
One thing is for sure, the higher the speeds the faster your bundle is depleted. Let us say you have been taking 30minutes to download a movie, with 4G, you could get it within 5 minutes. The idea is that with 4G you get to do more in much less time.
Using the MTN Smart app, you can manage and keep track of your usage. You can download the MTN app via the Android/Apple app store.
Credits : MTN FAQ, Image Credit: Wendy