Mr Kamar Abbas, Managing Director of Ntel, the new telecoms brand rising from the liquidated Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) says its Nigerian telecoms market rebound rings hope for deeper broadband penetration in the country.
Ntel, Nigeria’s 5th mobile network operator, today launched commercial service of an advanced mobile network hedging its bet on its triple services of voice, data and video.
At the Jade Palace Victoria Island Lagos venue of the launch, Abbas promised that Ntel network will deliver an unrivaled user experience for Nigerian Internet subscribers with up to 230Mbps, the fastest Internet speed available in Nigeria today.
Mr Olajide Mofolabomi, General Manager, Products and Services at Ntel was to allay doubts of newsmen at the event when he asked them to crosscheck the company’s claim of the network by carrying out a comparative speed test analysis between Ntel and a rival mobile operator using a speed test app on a mobile phone.
After the speed test was conducted it was confirmed that NTel has 230Mbs while the unnamed operator had less than 50mbs
“I am delighted with the news that today, the eight day of April 2016, we start commercial activities on our newly commissioned 4G/LTE Advanced network. Our very earliest customers will be able to buy and use these services in cluster across Lagos and Abuja from sale outlets and agents featuring our bright new brand Ntel” Abbas told attendees at the media briefing to announce the roll out of Ntel services in Lagos and Abuja.
The Ntel MD told attendees that his yearnings to give Nigeria ubiquitous broadband started some three and half years ago where he identified data as the next area of growth in the vibrant Nigeria telecom market.
The commencement of operations today is the culmination of their journey from acquiring the old NITEL/Mtel asset to the delivery of successive milestone underlying their growing operating capability on their new fixed and mobile network infrastructure, he adds.
“We started the journey in three and half years ago when we asked ourselves what needs to be done in Nigeria telecoms space, at that time there was 120 million active SIMs , looking harder we saw the beginning of a trend, that is unmistakably which is data” he says.
With the formal commencement, Ntel says commercial services will be available on Ntel 4G/LTE-Advaced network across key site clusters in Lagos and Abuja.
”Coverage in Port Harcourt will follow by May, along with expanded coverage in Lagos and Abuja, and subsequently to other states across multiple geo political zones during the second half of 2016″, Abbas says of the rollout plans.
The 4G/LTE –Advanced technology is built on the 900/1800MHz spectrum will deliver unbeatable and game changer customer experience of high speed internet access up to 230Mbps,”thus enabling a world of full mobile broadband experiences that will transform both lives and livelihoods.”
Abbas, an ex-Country Manager of Ericsson Nigeria and a strong advocate of 4G/LTE adds that, ”we are passionate at Ntel about the power of broadband to boost productivity and there by transform lives we expect to see this happen as Ntel helps to accelerate the ongoing migration from existing 2G and 3G to genuinely high speed mobile broadband on 4G/LTE Advance.
Ntel also announced the tariff plans on its bouquet:
|Smart Phone Starter||N1,000||3 days||Unlimited data,30minutes voice calls, SMS|
|Standard Plan||N2,400||7 days||Unlimited Data,70minutes calls, SMS|
|Monthly plans||N9,000||30 days||Unlimited data, 300 minutes calls, SMS|
When challenged by journalist about the high cost of smartphone starter bouquet Mr Abbas says that “what we are offering is unlimited amount of data for as little as N1000 for 3 days, there is a monthly version of N9000 for unlimited data. The only unlimited data seen in the market today by other operators sell for more than twice of what we offer. So there is great value in our package.”
With Ntel’s 4G LTE Advanced mobile network, the company’s MD says ”we would allow people to improve on their productivity.”
Mr Olajide Mofolabomi General Manager product and services says users must have a 4G enabled smartphone to enjoy the maximum benefits of Ntel services
He however admits that not all 4G enable smartphones are compatible with Ntel’s network but “we are constantly testing various device that will work on our network.”
‘’ We are partnering with Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) to ensure that they bring 4G enable device to the market’’, he says. According to him ”we have some specific device that will be available in all our distribution outlets.”
Some of the certified devices that works with the Ntel network include, Tecno C5, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, Tecno Boom J8, Infinix Zero, Infinix Note. A comprehensive list can be found on Ntel’s website, according to Mofolabomi.
In terms of broadband devices, Mofolabomi of Ntel says that “our device is coming from ZTE and the unique thing about the router is that it is the first category 6 router that has the compatibility to do up to 300mbps on one SIM card. It is the first of its kind in Nigeria.”