Newest entrant into Nigeria’s telecommunications market, Ntel has concluded plans to roll out services from April 8.Ntel, which plans to start from Lagos and Abuja, said it would offer Nigerians fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) network service.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ntel, Kamar Abass, who disclosed this yesterday, in Lagos, said that all is set for the commercial launch following link from completion of agreements with channel partners as well as go-ahead from Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Abass said the telecommunications regulator has approved all licence authorization necessary for Ntel to launch its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) network using next generation telecommunications infrastructure.
He said Ntel has deployed about 600 base transceiver stations (BTSs) in the two cities with 2000 sites to be rolled out as the network expands.
Abass said already 200 kilometres of fibre optic transmission cables have been laid in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt for seamless network connectivity. He said Ntel has deployed LTE Advanced, the latest 4G technology with multi-antenna MIMO sites.
We are rolling out physical sites in two cities on our 900MHz and 1800MHz bands to launch Voice over LTE come April 8, 2016. We have signed agreements with trade partners and fulfilled all licence authorisations and payments and we are up-to-date. There are no impediments to our launch,” he said.
Abass said NATCOMS Investments Ltd, the parent company of Ntel has project over $1 billion investments over the next four years.
To ensure smooth take off of its mobile network, the NATCOMS has completed the construction of Tier III datacenter as well as reactivation of SAT3 submarine international fibre optic cable.
It will be recalled that NATCOMS had last year paid $252.52 million to acquire the assets of the defunct first national operator (FNO) to begin commercial operation on its mobile network.
According to Abass, despite the growth of the telecoms sector in Nigeria which has seen voice subscriptions rise from less that 60,000 in year 2001 to over 147 million as at 2015, broadband usage has only grown by 20 per cent.
He said NATCOM has come to fill the gap bringing Nigerians unfettered access to full mobile broadband both on voice and data services.
Over the next four and half years, the total number of mobile broadband customers alone will be greater than all of the customers that have come into the market on mobile since its inception. In other words, we are at a point where a major transformation is in the making. You will see 168 million mobile broadband customers coming into being between now and the end of 2019, which is more than all the mobile customers (both narrow and broadband) that we have seen in the last 15 years.
“That sounds like an enormous transformation. When it comes to the supply of broadband services, we are unique because we have more spectrum, which can deliver more throughput than any network available today and potentially any network in the future. The spectrum we have has unique features which are simply unrepeatable on any other spectrum band” Abass said.