By Adedeji Fakorede
NATCOM Consortium, the new owner of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and its subsidiary, the Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (M-Tel) has concluded plans to roll out service in November this year.
The telecom operator will be rolling out services on 4G Long Term Evolution Technology (LTE) which is known to be a more reliable technology for telecom services, especially for data.
NATCOM plans to roll out in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in this first instance and thereafter extend to other cities of the country.
It was gathered that the telecom operator will be trading with the name ‘NTEL’ as its marketing brand, meaning Nigerian Telecommunications.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek learnt that the data service the company plans to launch alongside voice will be boosted with the commencement of service of SAT-3 whose ‘Beach Manhole’ relocation has been completed and will be launched as NITEL rolls out service.
It would be recalled that South Atlantic 3/West Africa Submarine Cable (SAT-3), ‘Beach Manhole’ – which is the first landing pot of an undersea cable, was cut in the process of reclaiming Bar Beach for the new town known as Eko Atlantic project.
The network is already being test run for full commercial roll out next month even as subscribers have already started joining the network.
Engr. Lanre Ajayi, president, Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), welcomed the planned roll out of service by NATCOM.
“It is also an additional network capacity for the country. Their coming on board will help in deepening broadband penetration if they will not concentrate on the perceived commercially viable cities,” he added.
Deolu Ogunbanjo, president, National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMMS), expressed excitement on the planned launch of service by NATCOM especially as they are launching with 4G LTE technology.
He said that the entrance of NATCOM into the country’s telecommunications landscape will hot-up competition and further drive down tariff for the benefit of subscribers.
He however, urged the company to as well work towards reviving its fixed network which the country is in dear need of if we are to enjoy true broadband service.
NATCOM Consortium emerged the preferred bidder for the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) and Nigerian Mobile Telecommunications Limited (Mtel), its mobile subsidiary as well as SAT-3 after offering $252.5 million for the beleaguered national carrier.
By Adedeji Fakorede