Welcome to 4G/LTE-Advanced ntel Nigeria http://www.ntel.com.ng LIVE. MORE. Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:11:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.ntel.com.ng/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/cropped-ntel-logo-1-32x32.png Welcome to 4G/LTE-Advanced ntel Nigeria http://www.ntel.com.ng 32 32 Task before Akinlola, ntel’s New CEO http://www.ntel.com.ng/task-before-akinlola-ntels-new-ceo/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/task-before-akinlola-ntels-new-ceo/#comments Tue, 03 Oct 2017 08:26:48 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=8252 Last week’s appointment of Ernest Akinlola as the new managing director of ntel, is a test of his managerial expertise to turn around ntel and reposition the company for competition, writes Emma Okonji

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Last week’s appointment of Ernest Akinlola as the new managing director of ntel, is a test of his managerial expertise to turn around ntel and reposition the company for competition, writes Emma Okonji

After several years of failed attempts to sell the Nigeria Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) to core investors by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the government agency, which is responsible for the sales of government assets, eventually sold NITEL to NATCOM in 2015, through a guided liquidation process, after the unbundling of telecommunications firm.

Few months after the completion of the successful bid process, NATCOM, trading as ntel, rolled out its services in 2016, after shopping for its first managing director and chief executive, Kamar Abass. The MD/CEO was poached from Ericsson Nigeria, where he hitherto held sway as the country manager in Nigeria.

One year after Abass struggled to position ntel, and made it to hit the ground running, he suddenly took ill. He decided to let go the plum job, in order to take care of his failing health, a situation that compelled the owners of ntel to shop for another credible CEO that will turn around the telecoms company and set it on the path of competition, which is the game of survival in the telecommunications sector, where ntel currently plays.

Although it did not take ntel so much time to shop for Abass’ replacement, industry watchers are of the view that the appointment of Earnest Akinlola as a replacement of Abass, is not only a test of the managerial skills of Akinloa to reposition ntel in an era of stiff completion, but also a test of the vision of ntel to retain its industry position as the best 4G LTE service provider in the 21st Century.

Customer value management is my thing. That’s what I focus on. I want to know who the customers are and what we can do to keep them and grow them.

About Ernest Akinlola


In the last one week of his appointment, many Nigerians, including industry players have been asking questions about Akinlola, and about his capacity to turn around ntel.

Their desire to know more about Akinlola is due to the task associated with the highly elevated office of the managing director of ntel. He is now saddled with the responsibilities of upholding the vision and mission of ntel to remain the leader of 4G LTE service provider, after pioneering the launch of 4G LTE technology among telecoms operators.

THISDAY’s search about Akinlola, however, revealed so much about him.

Akinlola is soft spoken but intense, and he is the kind of man who knows how to put his points across. He is a well-educated, widely-travelled and vastly experienced in the field of telecommunications.

He holds a degree in economics, a Chartered Accountant and fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He also holds an MBA from Manchester Business School. He has worked in pharmaceuticals, packaging and delivery, telecoms and consulting. His career has seen him traverse America, Europe and Africa. Call him a man of the world and you wouldn’t be wrong.

But how does all that come to play as he takes over the helms of affairs as the new MD/CEO. Many in Nigeria’s telecom ecosystem remember Akinlola from his brief stint at Etisalat, now 9mobile, where he berthed as Marketing and Strategy Director, and drove the company’s innovation-focused marketing strategy that saw rapid increase of its subscriber number.

Akinlola has credited the growth to his single-minded focus on the customer.
“Customer value management is my thing. That’s what I focus on. I want to know who the customers are and what we can do to keep them and grow them,” Akinlola said in his recent speech.

The focus on “Customer is King” has helped him notch up success after success in a 20 year plus career in telecoms media and technology, which took off when he joined the fledgling One 2 One (now called T/Mobile UK) telecoms operator in the United Kingdom (UK), where he was instrumental in establishing a world class internal audit and compliance department.
“No one gave us a chance at One 2 One. Some people called us One 2 None but we soon changed the game when we launched Virgin Mobile on the One 2 One network,” Akinlola said.

According to a statement from the management of ntel, “Akinlola as head of department, led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network, which proved to be the pioneering Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) at the time. Following One 2 One’s acquisition by T-Mobile, Akinlola was a key member on the integration team, leading on commercial strategy and growing the wholesale side of the business to launch several MVNO’s focused on specific customer segments. He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5 billion IPO. Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme.”

Akinlola was subsequently headhunted as COO by Lycamobile, the world’s largest international MVNO, to lead its European strategy, successfully expanding into 10 countries including UK, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and Spain within two years.

Akinlola is considered, on account of his work and successes at One 2 One, Virgin and Lycamobile, a MVNO expert and guru at moving new and small companies into the big league.

As marketing director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took the former Etisalat from the fourth ranked operator to the second, in terms of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).

Why ntel went for Akinlola


The Director, External Affairs at ntel, Osondu Nwokoro, says Akinlola is a good choice having “held top positions in finance, wholesale, MVNO’s business strategy, marketing and transformation programmes.”

The company’s statement announcing Akinlola’s coming to ntel went further to point out that “following his notable successes in Europe, he focused on Nigeria’s telecoms sector and was approached to lead a major marketing drive for the former Etisalat, now 9mobile, the 4th entrant in a highly competitive telecoms market. As marketing director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took the former Etisalat from the fourth ranked operator to the second, in terms of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).”

“His African odyssey was short lived and Akinlola soon returned to Europe where he launched a business but he never stopped thinking about Africa,” Nwokoro said.

In 2016, a chance to make a mark in his home continent presented itself when Allumno, a company he headed as CEO Founder/Telecoms Advisory was engaged as a strategic advisor by the board of Swazi Mobile to formulate a commercial strategic plan for the application of a 4G VoLTE licence in Swaziland South Africa.
“Swazi Mobile was successfully awarded the 4G VoLTE, 4G, 3G licences in December 2016 with a score of 75 per cent compared to other international bids.

Akinlola sees the ntel offer as a challenge as well as an opportunity to do something huge,” Nwokoro added.

I am excited to be appointed MD/CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s pre-eminent 4G/LTE network. ntel has tremendous untapped capabilities, which can provide a step change in customer experience for large enterprises, SME’s and consumers.

The task before Akinlola


The task before Akinlola is huge given the fact that the company has a system in place that seems not appealing to customers who wanted to feel more of the impact of ntel at the grassroots level.

The fact that customers cannot get ntel’s physical recharge cards to buy from vendors, unlike the tradition in the telecoms sector where subscribers have access to physical recharge cards of all operators through various vendors, leaves much task for Akinlola to convince the majority of subscribers who are more at ease with recharging their mobile phones through the purchase of physical recharge cards, rather than going online to purchase recharge cards as it is the case with ntel.

Again, Akinlola has to work very hard to speed up the network rollout plan to other cities, other than Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, where it currently operates. The task of maintaining the company’s position as the leader of 4G LTE technology service, having rolled out its initial service with the 4G LTE network, is also before Akinlola. His managerial expertise has to come to play to enable the telecoms company maintain that leading position of 4GLTE service provider because other operators that later launched their 4G LTE networks, are also strategising to overtake ntel in the 4G LTE service provisioning.

But in all of these challenges that are before Akinlola, he has this to say: “I am excited to be appointed MD/CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s pre-eminent 4G/LTE network. ntel has tremendous untapped capabilities, which can provide a step change in customer experience for large enterprises, SME’s and consumers. I look forward to leading the team in driving innovation and delighting our current and future customers.”
Although he sounds convincing that he can lead ntel to the promise land, but industry watchers are, however, hoping that his words of promise are not empty.

Read More: https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/10/12/task-before-akinlola-ntels-new-ceo/

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ThisDay: Abass – Ubiquitous Broadband Will Drive Telecoms Growth http://www.ntel.com.ng/spy-html/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/spy-html/#comments Thu, 29 Jun 2017 10:59:15 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=7932 The Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass, spoke with Emma Okonji on the challenges of the telecoms industry and the need for increased broadband access to address poor service quality, among other issues.

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The Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass, spoke with Emma Okonji on the challenges of the telecoms industry and the need for increased broadband access to address poor service quality, among other issues. Excerpts:

The contribution of telecoms consumer to the Nigerian economy is put at N11.5 million in two years. What percentage of this amount did ntel subscribers contribute?

Telecoms subscribers on the ntel network have never had it so good in terms of their experience with our telecoms service offerings. They are experiencing better telecoms service on our 4G LTE network. So they have the latest generation of mobile services, which has enhanced their contributions to the Nigerian economy. We offer our customers various levels of services from our 4G LTE fiber connection and the speed of connectivity is very high.

We need to offer choice services that exceed the level of excellence and we need to offer steady services.

The contribution of telecoms consumer to the Nigerian economy is put at N11.5 million in two years. What percentage of this amount did ntel subscribers contribute?

Are there no more issues of poor telecoms services?

There are issues of poor service quality, occasioned by the economic recession, which the country is currently facing. We are providing the best of telecoms services, but infrastructure is a challenge because we do not have the required number of base stations that will give full telecoms coverage across the country. We are faced with willful destruction of telecoms facilities and these also affect service quality. Today the county has over 150 million mobile subscribers across networks, but the number we are expecting by 2020, will be well over 220 million subscribers. The growth rate will be largely driven by broadband. It is expected that 2/3 of the total number of subscribers will be on mobile broadband. So there are lots of investments to make and we need our shareholders to release the cash for such investments.

Telecoms subscriber number declined in the first quarter of the year, from 154 million to about 152 million. What could be responsible for the drop?

The truth is that the number of 2G customers is declining because the 2G technology has been overtaken by 3G and 4G LTE technologies, which most operators currently provide. The 2G standard has always been an interim standard because 2G was dominated by voice, with little data offering, through the GPRS. 3G technology came and tried to collaborate data with voice, but 4G is a pure data technology in which data is the focus, but could accommodate voice in an Internet Protocol (IP) environment. So it is no surprise that customers are migrating from 2G to 3G and from 3G to 4G LTE. The 4G technology is better than 3G and the 2G in terms of speed of connectivity, picture and voice clarity among others, which is the reason for the drop in 2G and 3G technologies, especially the 2G technology and this could be accountable for the drop in subscriber number.

In one year of commercial rollout, how has the ntel brand fared?

In one year, ntel as a brand has done very well. We have set up a billing system that gives us better integration between the sales representatives and the customer care system. It has given us significant ease to operate in a unique way that is different from other operators. We have 70 per cent coverage in three states currently, with plans to expand to more states. We have made tremendous progress in one year on the number of customers that are now on our network. We got award from an American company as the fastest internet service provider, and I see this as a great feat in one year of rollout. But this is not even a surprise to us because we know we are the clear leader in the industry, offering 4G LTE services to customers.

We sell recharge cards and use other available channels to have customers connected to the ntel network. The fact is that we are not ready yet to operate the physical recharge card system, but with time we will. Our network is a conceivable integration network, having the next generation billing system, and we are working on that even though we have not yet explored the physical recharge channel option.

Customers seem not to feel the strong presence and vibrancy of ntel because it eliminated the physical recharge cards and compelled customers to recharge their phones online. What is your take on this?

We sell recharge cards and use other available channels to have customers connected to the ntel network. The fact is that we are not ready yet to operate the physical recharge card system, but with time we will. Our network is a conceivable integration network, having the next generation billing system, and we are working on that even though we have not yet explored the physical recharge channel option.

Ntel offers 4 G LTE Advance network. What makes the offering differ from the offerings of other telecoms operators?

Now let’s look at it from the customers’ needs. Customers want easy access and they want to exchange information and share pictures at a very high connectivity rate, and this is faster with 4G LTE. On the supply side, we need only one site to cover several sites covered by 3G network, and once the area is fully covered, the better it is for customers to get fast downloads and uploads, with highly reduced latency period, which is a period of delay.

What is the penetration level of the ntel network?

Our coverage is expanding and we have 70 per cent coverage area in each of the three states that we presently cover, Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. Our plan is to ensure that customers on the ntel network are very productive when they subscribe to our 4G LTE services.  

There is a public perception that the ntel network is for the elites. What is your take on it?

That perception is completely incorrect because we have packages that cut across all cadre of people. Our packages are designed for both the high and low income earners in the society, with some packages having lowest level of pricing that is as low as N500 for the best return on investment. Customers can buy our unlimited package, which allows them to have unlimited access to the internet.

We have other packages that allow the customer to use a define volume of data, based on its budget limit. So we are not providing services for only the elites, because we have wide range of packages that address the needs and financial capacities of different customers.

How are telecoms operators maximising the forex opportunity created for them by the telecoms regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC)?

We are in a world where we have to deal with issues affecting us. But if the NCC is making efforts to create a window of opportunity for telecoms operators in the forex market, we will welcome it as a good development because it will come with some forms of relief. The truth is that telecoms operators, alongside the ministries of communications and finance, have been lobbying for easy access to foreign exchange (forex), and as a priority sector that needs to purchase the needed equipment in foreign currencies, the telecoms operators need such widow of opportunity to enable us have access to forex. Although it is an ongoing discussion between NCC and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), but we are yet to benefit from it, because the telecoms operators are not yet on the priority list of the federal government for those sectors that should have easy access to foreign exchange. The negotiation is ongoing and we are glad that the ministries are supporting our request to be part of the priority list of the federal government for access to forex.

How is the economic recession affecting telecoms business, especially the ntel business?

Since we had our commercial launch last year, we were able to do the much we could, given the prevailing circumstances posed by the recession. We raised money to acquire the business, we also raised money to commence the first commercial rollout, and since then we have been in the business and we are now about to begin the process of raising another money to expand the business beyond our existing three cities. Telecoms is about the ability to connect people and we see that the customers are using data services more, probably because of the benefits attached to data services; but even with the economic recession, we are building more 4G LTE sites, and within one year, we have over 1000 4G LTE sites.

How does the broadband plan of ntel key into that of the federal government?

Our business plan is to have full broadband coverage areas and we are meeting up with that target plan. The reality is that we need to raise more money to invest in broadband. So to the extent that we can raise more money, we will deliver the broadband plan. All we need from the government is to ensure equal access to infrastructure and that our infrastructure is protected from vandalism by social miscreants. We also need a fair pricing regime from government to take care of the interests of the different players in the industry, according to their financial capabilities. We see ourselves as central to the broadband agenda of the federal government, because we are driving the industry to deliver broadband services.

What are the unique offerings that your customers are getting that make them feel at home with the ntel network?

We take delight in inspiring our customers and we will continue to give them the awesome online experience that they deserve such that whenever they are online, they will enjoy fast internet speed on our 4G LTE Advanced network. We are 100 per cent Nigerian company in terms of our staff strength and we are close to our customers because we understand their language and their culture.

Since the rollout last year, ntel had always focused on mobile telephony. Any plan to operate the fixed line telephony?

Whether we are offering fixed or mobile services, is not really an issue, because what matters is about connectivity and the ability of customers to make uninterrupted call and data flow. Today we are selling between 5 and 10 megabytes per second connections to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), using our 4G LTE network. We will select the best technology to deploy our services and we are not necessarily religious whether it is fixed or mobile service offerings. What we are doing is to give our customers the best experience with 4G LTE.  

What are your challenges that should attract government attention?

As far as telecoms business is concerned in Nigeria, ntel sees no challenges in deploying its 4G LTE Advanced network, because we see challenges as opportunities, after they have been fixed.

The market is moving away from voice to data and that is what is driving our operations.

Your services appear to be tilted more towards SMEs. What could be responsible for this?

We do not think it is a bad idea to package products and services for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), because truly, they are the engine of growth of any economy. However, we did not set out to address only the SMEs market, because we address all strata of interests. So we have broad appeal for products and services that address the needs of customers.

What other influence will the ntel Board Chairman, T.Y. Danjuma bring to drive the ntel brand that has gained so much traction in just one year of operation?

The General is a very important personality in the Nigerian economy and his presence as board chairman will do a lot to the company. I do spend a lot of quality time with him, and he is always bringing his wealth of experience to bear. So we are fortunate to have him as our Board Chairman.

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Nigeria’s 4G/LTE revolution: An operator’s perspective – Kamar Abass http://www.ntel.com.ng/nigerias-4glte-revolution-an-operators-perspective-kamar-abass/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/nigerias-4glte-revolution-an-operators-perspective-kamar-abass/#comments Sat, 12 Nov 2016 06:39:10 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=7339 Nigeria’s telecoms industry has become, perhaps, the most exciting in Africa, in terms of prospective growth and aggregate size, but certainly the biggest in subscriber terms. And even after allowing for recent naira adjustments against the US Dollar, it remains among sub-Saharan Africa’s most valuable markets.

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Nigeria’s telecoms industry has become, perhaps, the most exciting in Africa, in terms of prospective growth and aggregate size, but certainly the biggest in subscriber terms. And even after allowing for recent Naira adjustments against the US Dollar, it remains among sub-Saharan Africa’s most valuable markets.

However, these compelling truths are less significant than the other big news about Nigeria’s Telecoms market.

One key fact is this: Nigeria’s mobile customers are shifting, proactively and with little or no incentive, from narrowband to broadband mobile services. In this connection, we have seen 2G/GSM subscriptions peak, at the end of September, 2015, at some 118m, making this trend both unmistakable and, most likely, irreversible. From that point, all of Nigeria’s new mobile subscribers are joining a 3G or a 4G network.

Even more interesting is the trajectory of Nigeria’s mobile broadband migration: by 2020, forecasters from GSMA to OVUM predict that 88% of Nigeria’s mobile subscribers will have a broadband subscription. Importantly, this total will account for some 195m mobile broadband subscribers: equivalent to about 155m more than there are today.

Even more interesting is the trajectory of Nigeria’s mobile broadband migration: by 2020, forecasters from GSMA to OVUM predict that 88% of Nigeria’s mobile subscribers will have a broadband subscription.  Importantly, this total will account for some 195m mobile broadband subscribers: equivalent to about 155m more than there are today.

This is a stunning transformation: in effect, less than 5 years from now, the number of mobile subscribers in Nigeria that would have migrated to broadband is projected to be greater than the total growth of active mobile subscribers in the first 15 (fifteen) years of this genre’s evolution in Nigeria.

Now that we have the key facts, there are a few questions to consider:

  • What is driving this transformation?
  • What business opportunities does it offer? and
  • Who will be its winners and losers?

The transformation:

Today, Nigeria has some 92m Internet active subscribers. This is the number of mobile subscribers who regularly access the Internet and pay for doing so. Interestingly, this number has grown steadily at the rate of roughly 2.8% per month, since 2012. So, with regard to being always connected, Nigerians’ appetite for the Internet is at par with that of consumers in the most connected countries in the world.  And there is more: only 1/3 of these Internet active subscribers do so on a broadband connection.

As Nigerians, we are hungry for access to the Internet, just like everyone else on the planet (today there is a global total of 7bn mobile subscribers, 4bn of whom are on mobile broadband networks). But we are not, by any stretch of the imagination, patient! Our seeming dependence on narrowband Internet connections is a reality arising from limited and, where present, poor mobile broadband coverage.

So, for the vast majority of Nigeria’s Internet-active subscribers, it seems that the desire for Internet Access is matched only by Jobian levels of patience required to watch pages download at narrowband speeds, ie, substantially below 1mbps. On this basis, it is no surprise that the average volume of data downloaded in Nigeria stands at a meagre 200MBs per month: this is a fraction of the global average of 746MB and pales into insignificance against advanced mobile broadband markets, with over 95% 4G/LTE coverage, such as South Korea, of 2.7GB per month!

As Nigerians, we are hungry for access to the Internet, just like everyone else on the planet (today there is a global total of 7bn mobile subscribers, 4bn of whom are on mobile broadband networks). But we are not, by any stretch of the imagination, patient! Our seeming dependence on narrowband Internet connections is a reality arising from limited and, where present, poor mobile broadband coverage.

It is this deficit that 4G/LTE is specifically designed to address: mass market, ubiquitous superfast Internet access alongside voice and messaging services. We say mass-market, because contrary to popular speculation, and to evidence on the ground, all Nigerians (not just a comfortable middle-class), across the whole country (not just those in city hot-spots), want to access the Internet at more comfortable speeds. And, increasingly, we are willing and able to pay for the right to do so.

So, what does a mass-market mobile broadband network look like? Well, to answer this question, you must accompany me on a brief excursion into the Natural Sciences: Physics to be precise!

There is an inverse relationship between the distance radio signals can travel and their frequency range, this is sometimes described as their propagation ability. This means that low radio frequencies like 700 or 800Mhz can travel several kilometres (and also penetrate buildings with ease) while those at the 2600 or 3500MHz range do achieve significantly lower levels of propagation (and can find it difficult to penetrate buildings without assistance).  Equally, in relation to building the optimal broadband network, there is another relationship at work: that between the throughput achievable from radio signals and their frequency range: This is a direct one: the higher the frequency of radio signals, ceteris paribus, the higher the throughput possible.

Has any network operator been able to optimize MIMO and Carrier Aggregation in Nigeria? The answer is yes, ntel. And the result is delivery of peak throughput speeds of 230mbps: faster than a great many fibre connections in Nigeria today. Though this value is a theoretical maximum, much like 42mbps is the theoretical maximum for 3G, ntel has recorded peak speeds on its network of 150mbps, using specialized equipment, and 102mbps using a standard smartphone without CA or MIMO employed.

Optimizing these two variables is vitally important, because the results will define, forever, or at least for the life of your spectrum, the fundamental economics of your mobile network: choose high frequency spectrum and you are focusing on delivering high throughput in relatively modestly-sized hot-spots; on the other hand, choose low frequency spectrum, and you are banking on relatively low levels of throughput demand, spread evenly across the population.

There is, however, an interesting middle ground. Those with a head for numbers would have noticed that the negative gradient of our frequency propagation curve would in fact interest the positive gradient of our frequency throughput line identifying a so-called “sweet-spot” or even “Goldilocks” spectrum range that appears to optimally balances propagation against throughput. Such a spectrum range would not have to make the uncertain bet, as between high throughput and high coverage, as the “sweet-spot” optimizes them both. For those who have not guessed it already, this sweet spot occurs at roughly 1800Mhz!

Today, most operators in Nigeria use this spectrum band for 2G, with one critical exception: ntel. The result is that ntel has the fundamental ingredients for Nigeria’s most cost-efficient, mass-market and high-throughput network to address emerging mobile broadband needs. And is already well on its way to doing so. It would appear that the equally revolutionary words of 1984 are still relevant today, albeit slightly misquoted: “2G good, but 4G better!”

Today, ntel’s is the largest 4G/LTE network in Abuja. By the end of this month, ntel will have many hundred of sites On Air. And significant coverage of 3 states of the federation that account for some 50% of national mobile broadband spend. By this time next year, ntel’s 4G/LTE coverage will be further expanded on its way to delivering true mass-market coverage across multiple states and across all geotypes: dense urban, urban, suburban and even semi-rural communities. In effect, we aspire to provide every single prospective mobile broadband customer, in Nigeria (at least to start with), the opportunity to choose the ntel experience.

The Opportunities

So, what does this all mean?

Well, if we go back to the 1980s when the GSM standard was being agreed, it was clearly designed for a world of mobile voice, and for considerably fewer users than the 7 billion we have today, globally. Some 20 years later, when the 3GPP standard was agreed, for 3G networks, following the success of GPRS and EDGE on 2G networks, it was to accommodate both voice and data alongside one another, but with voice still circuit-switched, in the sense that a dedicated channel through the network was created for each and every voice call. With the 4G/LTE standard, the emphasis is clearly on building high-capacity AND high-throughput networks. This means all-IP, for both voice and data and the ability to handle the most demanding of data use cases: streaming video.

So, if, as a customer, you want the most complete data experience (high-throughput and mass-market coverage) or, as an operator, you need the most efficient mobile data network, then 4G/LTE is the choice. If you are particularly keen to insure your network against high demand, you can add multiple antennae technology, aka MIMO, to your network. And if you have access to spectrum in non-adjacent bands, no problem, simply acquire Carrier Aggregation (or CA) technology, another feature of 4G/LTE, to make your full range of spectrum, irrespective of its band, function as a whole.

Has any network operator been able to optimize MIMO and Carrier Aggregation in Nigeria? The answer is yes, ntel. And the result is delivery of peak throughput speeds of 230mbps: faster than a great many fibre connections in Nigeria today. Though this value is a theoretical maximum, much like 42mbps is the theoretical maximum for 3G, ntel has recorded peak speeds on its network of 150mbps, using specialized equipment, and 102mbps using a standard smartphone without CA or MIMO employed.

All of which means that ntel’s customers can enjoy higher speed access to the Internet than many fibre customers. And as usage grows, ntel’s network will be better able to withstand the shocks of enormous demand. Indeed, ntel has deliberately cultivated that demand by offering truly Unlimited Access to the Internet for customers choosing to purchase one of our 2-daily, weekly or monthly data bundles. One happy, if a little bleary-eyed, customer used 60GB of data on our network for each of 10 consecutive days in the early days of our launch. And has lived to tell the tale, as have we. The important thing about why we offer an unlimited tariff is that it enables our customers to explore and to discover the genuine productivity opportunities and benefits on-line. Increased productivity delivers greater incomes, and greater incomes afford more spending and more investment, we see this initiative as directly driving new and sustainable growth of our presently, slightly sluggish, economy.

To the future: Winners; Losers

The changes now being forecast, and already emerging in Nigeria’s Telecoms industry are, to put it mildly, fundamental. Their scale dwarfs even the superfast growth of 2G mobile over the last 15 years. The speed with which it is forecast to occur is, metaphorically speaking, of course, simply meteoric. What this means is that, it has the potential to fundamentally change the tidy and well-ordered structure and players in this industry.

That said, there are still a great many plays left. There are opportunities for new forms of partnership that better leverage existing assets, especially at the level of highly sought-after 4G/LTE spectrum, Goldilocks or otherwise. And there is the potential for mergers and consolidations to create the opportunity for meaningful volumes of high-quality spectrum to be liberated for its application to the 4G/LTE opportunity.

What is clear, however, is that consumers are in for an absolute delight: access to superfast Internet Access with an increasing range of products that will extend from the traditional voice and data, to applications that transform today’s choices: Live TV, music collections, entire on-line libraries, all available in a fully mobile context and just seconds, even milliseconds away from your device. Most importantly of all, will be the vibrant eco-system that develops, to support and accelerate the penetration of high-speed Internet Access in the places that we live, work and play.

We, at ntel, are delighted to be in this industry at this time. And look forward to driving faster and ever more complete transformations through the power of mobile broadband.

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ntel’s 4G network will provide new opportunities to Nigerians http://www.ntel.com.ng/ntels-4g-network-will-provide-new-opportunities-nigerians/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/ntels-4g-network-will-provide-new-opportunities-nigerians/#comments Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:34:55 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=7081 Ernest Ndukwe, the former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and national coordinator of Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4A1) in Nigeria has lauded ntel’s advanced 4G/LTE network, stating that, it will provide opportunities to Nigerians.

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Ernest Ndukwe, the former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and national coordinator of Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4A1) in Nigeria has lauded ntel’s advanced 4G/LTE network, stating that, it will provide opportunities to Nigerians.

Ndukwe who made the comment while visiting ntel’s facilities at Marina, Lagos said he was very impressed with the technology deployed by ntel, noting that, Nigerians are in for something good.

Ndukwe who was conducted round the facility by ntel’s CEO, Kamar Abass, and members of senior management said ntel’s investments are in line with the federal government’s initiative on broadband accessibility as contained in the National Broadband Plan of 2013.

Ndukwe who was conducted round the facility by ntel’s CEO, Kamar Abass, and members of senior management said ntel’s investments are in line with the federal government’s initiative on broadband accessibility as contained in the National Broadband Plan of 2013.

Speaking on ntel’s SAT 3 and 4G technology, Ndukwe who co-chaired the Presidential Committee on National Broadband Strategy and Roadmap said, “I can say I have been very impressed with what I saw. It seems at the cutting edge of technology and a lot of great work has been done in terms of installation here and I’ve also tested the network. I have seen that it is performing very well and with the expansion plans that ntel has, I think Nigerians are up for something good eventually, so congratulations.”

He then said the future of technology is hinged on 4G/broadband. “I’m a very big advocate for broadband and what it portends for the country and for Africa and for the human race generally. 4G is very critical. You know I was involved in the Presidential Committee for the national broadband plan and what we had there was that 3G and 4G would help in expanding broadband reach in Nigeria as much as possible. “

“So, ntel obviously is doing it in terms of high speed for data and I hope that both business and ordinary people will take advantage of that and use it to the maximum because everything depends on data and broadband``

Continuing, Dr. Ndukwe said “So, ntel obviously is doing it in terms of high speed for data and I hope that both business and ordinary people will take advantage of that and use it to the maximum because everything depends on data and broadband. I think ntel is providing a very important infrastructure, a very important system for advancing 4G in Nigeria.”

In his response, Kamar Abass, ntel CEO, in explaining ntel’s journey and how quickly the company has grown said, “We started in December 2015 and by January 18, 2016 we had made our first call making this one of the fastest 4G setup in history. Every time I think about our emergence I think of the foundation you laid at the NCC. We are in your debt.”

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ntel announces full network compatibility with Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge http://www.ntel.com.ng/ntel-announces-full-network-compatibility-with-samsung-galaxy-s7-and-s7-edge/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/ntel-announces-full-network-compatibility-with-samsung-galaxy-s7-and-s7-edge/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 16:45:44 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=7071 Nigeria’s most advanced 4G/LTE broadband operator has announced its network’s compatibility with two high-quality devices, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge from the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer.

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Nigeria’s most advanced 4G/LTE broadband operator has announced its network’s compatibility with two high-quality devices, the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge from the world’s leading smartphone manufacturer.

According to ntel, following months of compatibility tests, its network is now compatible with Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge making it possible for owners and users of the devices to call and browse at superfast speeds on the ntel network. With this feat, ntel becomes the first 4G/LTE provider in Africa to achieve device and network compatibility that will enable VoLTE capable calls,

ntel’s network supports crystal-clear HD Voice calling (VoLTE), as well as key LTE-Advanced features: Carrier Aggregation (CA); and Multiple In, Multiple Out (MIMO) Antennae technology.  These features combine to enable downlink data speeds of up to 230Megabits per second and are both supported on Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices.

ntel is the first network in Africa to achieve full compatibility for LTE Voice and Data on Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Owners and users of these devices can call, browse and message on ntel’s network. ntel is committed to ensuring users of premium devices such as Galaxy S7 can access the full set of advanced features and benefits of ntel’s 4G/LTE-Advanced network.<br />

In a statement obtained from ntel, Kamar Abass, CEO said “Samsung is the leader in the Nigerian smart phone market and news of the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge compatibility with our 4G/LTE Advanced network is fantastic news for our customers who have been eagerly waiting to use their high-end Samsung devices on our network. As Nigeria’s first pure-play 4G/LTE-Advanced network, ntel is committed to ensuring its customers have the widest possible range of devices to choose from.”

The Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge devices are top of the range devices from Samsung with enhanced design, high-quality cameras, water resistance, wireless charging, and connectivity to an unparalleled galaxy of services, products and experiences.

On his part, Mr. Emmanouil Revmatas, Director & Business Leader, Information Technology and Mobile, Samsung Electronics West Africa, expressed delight at the partnership with ntel while adding that Samsung will continue to defy boundaries of engineering to perfect the user experience through innovative designs and envelope-pushing solutions as exemplified by the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge.

“Samsung is very particular about its customers’ mobile experience and committed to ensuring that users get the best of their mobile devices. The S7 and S7 Edge smartphones were designed to usher consumers into a whole new galaxy with impeccable features. We have further cemented our brand’s promise with this partnership that allows users make calls and browse at super fast speeds without interruption. This is definitely a great value added experience.”

With a sleek, curved-glass back and slim ergonomic body, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are easy to hold in one hand and fit in your pocket or purse.

“Samsung is very particular about its customers’ mobile experience and committed to ensuring that users get the best of their mobile devices. The S7 and S7 Edge smartphones were designed to usher consumers into a whole new galaxy with impeccable features. We have further cemented our brand’s promise with this partnership that allows users make calls and browse at super fast speeds without interruption. This is definitely a great value added experience.”

The Galaxy S7 edge features curved glass on all sides of the device, giving users a unique dual-edge display and fully immersive experience while the S7 Edge is waterproof up to 1.5m for 30 minutes in fresh water.

Subscribers can also share pictures, videos and animations within seconds. Combining ntel’s superfast 4G/LTE-Advanced network with Samsung’s blink-of-an-eye autofocus camera for fewer blurry photos, users can be assured of superior low-light photography and significant advancements in video capture.

The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge give users a chance to capture every memory reliably and true to life. Both devices feature the first Dual Pixel camera on a smartphone with an incredibly fast autofocus that delivers bright, sharp images – even in low light settings.

 

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NATCOMS lauds ntel’s pure 4GLTE network http://www.ntel.com.ng/natcoms-lauds-ntels-pure-4glte-network/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/natcoms-lauds-ntels-pure-4glte-network/#respond Thu, 22 Sep 2016 07:41:33 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=7063 National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), has lauded Nigeria’s first advanced 4G/LTE network, ntel, for its broadband initiative.
NATCOMS, Nigeria’s pre-eminent subscriber advocacy group made the commendation when it paid a courtesy visit to ntel’s office in Ikoyi, Lagos on Tuesday, 30, August.

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Says ntel’s innovation good for Nigeria’s economy

National Association of Telecommunications Subscribers (NATCOMS), has lauded Nigeria’s first advanced 4G/LTE network, ntel, for its broadband initiative.

NATCOMS, Nigeria’s pre-eminent subscriber advocacy group made the commendation when it paid a courtesy visit to ntel’s office in Ikoyi, Lagos on Tuesday, 30, August. The Nigerian subscribers’ association was led on the visit by its president Chief Deolu Ogunbanjo. He was also accompanied by Barrister Bayo Omotubora, National Secretary of NATCOMS, Rev Udo Ibuot, Publicity Secretary of NATCOMS and National Treasurer, Hajia Mariam Uthman.

Speaking further, he added that: “ntel is bringing a different variation to user experience and I hope they will catch the market by storm``

Ogunbanjo who was very impressed with the level of technology and innovation deployed by ntel, said it is good that Nigerian subscribers can be treated to advanced 4G/LTE service and high quality calls through VoLTE. “Our meeting with ntel was exploratory and enlightening. We are impressed with the 4G/LTE Advanced technology deployed and hope that more innovations are deployed by this organization.”

Speaking further, he added that: “ntel is bringing a different variation to user experience and I hope they will catch the market by storm.”

Ogunbanjo noted that NATCOMS decided to visit ntel because the association wants to have first-hand information about the various packages offered by ntel and to make sure that they are subscriber-friendly. “We want to give Nigerian subscribers first-hand information about ntel, their offerings and products.”

Consumers want high quality access to the internet and the best solution is a high quality advanced 4G/LTE network. That is what we offer.

Responding to the NATCOMS team, ntel CEO, Kamar Abass, stated that the telecommunication outfit wants to revolutionize how Nigerians use data, stressing that, millions of Nigerians need to experience what advanced 4G/LTE network is all about. “Consumers want high quality access to the internet and the best solution is a high quality advanced 4G/LTE network. That is what we offer,” he said.

He noted that ntel has built a network that will enable Nigerians stream, browse, message, call and hotspot with ease. “We are offering unlimited data because people want to experience it first-hand. We have the technology to increase the tripod, our voice connects very quickly and it is super clear. We also have low latency and super speed.

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TY Danjuma now ntel’s new Chairman http://www.ntel.com.ng/ty-danjuma-now-ntels-new-chairman/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/ty-danjuma-now-ntels-new-chairman/#comments Thu, 28 Jul 2016 07:00:44 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=6734 Nigerian business tycoon, Gen. TY Danjuma, has been named Board Chairman by the NatCom Development & Investment Limited “NatCom”, trading as ntel. The announcement was made on Wednesday, July, 2016 following General Danjuma’s inaugural board meeting. With General Danjuma as board chairman, former chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, becomes Vice Chairman. Other members of the board include Captain Idahosa Okunbo, Abiola Ayeni, Kasheem Shettima, Philip Chukwu, Kola Adesina, John Darlington, Dan Kunle, Babatunde Omotoba and Kamar Abass.

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Nigerian business tycoon, Gen. TY Danjuma, has been named Board Chairman by the NatCom Development & Investment Limited “NatCom”, trading as ntel. The announcement was made on Wednesday, July, 2016 following General Danjuma’s inaugural board meeting.

With General Danjuma as board chairman, former chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, becomes Vice Chairman. Other members of the board include Captain Idahosa Okunbo, Abiola Ayeni, Kasheem Shettima, Philip Chukwu, Kola Adesina, John Darlington, Dan Kunle, Babatunde Omotoba and Kamar Abass. General Danjuma, fondly known as ‘the green general’ on account of his environmental activism, has interests in oil and gas, banking and shipping. A respected environmentalist and philanthropist, he was Chairman of Abuja Green Society and through his own Danjuma Foundation, established in 2009, passionately supports poverty alleviation, education and medical aid initiatives across Nigeria.

General Danjuma brings to the ntel board robust commercial experience covering some three decades in the public and private sectors, following a successful career in the army from where he retired as a three-star General and Chief of Army Staff in 1980.

General Danjuma brings to the ntel board robust commercial experience covering some three decades in the public and private sectors, following a successful career in the army from where he retired as a three-star General and Chief of Army Staff in 1980. He also served as Minister of Defence in the first term of the civilian administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo. Commenting on this key addition to ntel’s board, Kamar Abass, ntel’s CEO, remarked “we are delighted to have a man of General TY Danjuma’s standing join us. As our new chairman, and as a shareholder, we welcome his support as we add momentum to our growth and development in Nigeria’s telecoms industry.

We expect to benefit enormously from General Danjuma’s sterling leadership credentials and, in this way, to build on the excellent work of our immediate past chairman, Dr. Tunde Ayeni, who positioned ntel to deliver the leading Broadband experiences already evidenced in Lagos and Abuja.” ntel commenced commercial operations of its 4G/LTE-Advanced network on 08-04-16 in Lagos and Abuja.

The company made its first on-net test data call in Lagos on Monday, January 18, 2016 and followed this with its first on-net Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) call in Lagos on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Commercial operations commenced on Friday April 8, 2016.

Network services in Port Harcourt are scheduled to commence early in Q4. NatCom projects making investments totalling more than $1billion by 2020. ntel is Nigeria’s most advanced mobile 4G/LTE network providing superfast Internet Access that enables high-definition voice, data and video services. ntel’s network is built on the 900/1800 Mhz frequency bands which are the best propagation frequencies for the deployment of 4G/LTE technology. ntel’s bouquet of services includes: National Bandwidth; International Voice Termination, International Bandwidth; Mobile and Fixed Communications services.

The company made its first on-net test data call in Lagos on Monday, January 18, 2016 and followed this with its first on-net Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) call in Lagos on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Commercial operations commenced on Friday April 8, 2016.

Excerpts from Vanguard

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Adebayo Shittu visits ntel, commends huge investment http://www.ntel.com.ng/adebayo-shittu-visits-ntel-commends-huge-investment/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/adebayo-shittu-visits-ntel-commends-huge-investment/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 16:33:30 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=6569 NatCom Development and Investment Limited, the company that acquired the core assets of NiTel/MTel, played host to Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communication, at their Tier III data center in Lagos on Monday.

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NatCom Development and Investment Limited, the company that acquired the core assets of NiTel/MTel, played host to Barrister Adebayo Shittu, the Minister of Communication, at their Tier III data center in Lagos on Monday.

Shittu, who was accompanied by a five-man team from the Ministry of Communications as well as the acting DG of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, was received at the Data Center/Cable Landing Station by Dr. Tunde Ayeni, the Chairman NatCom; Kamar Abass, MD of ntel; and senior members of the ntel management team.

“Government is appreciative of what you have done. “I want to congratulate ntel on the huge investment made to revive NiTel. “People need to know about the huge investment you have made and I hope that my visit will help in that regard.”

Shittu, who was conducted round the multi-million dollar Tier III Data Center, expressed delight at the transformation of the moribund NiTel facilities. Speaking while inspecting the Data Center, he said: “I am happy that a Nigerian company with local funds has done this.
Ayeni thanked Shittu for visiting and supporting ntel. He promised: “We will try our best to create competition in the market and create more opportunities for Nigerians.

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2016 – The year of 4G LTE http://www.ntel.com.ng/2016-year-4g-lte/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/2016-year-4g-lte/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 15:37:43 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=6566 In comments made during a parley with executives of Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Kamar Abass, CEO of ntel said “ntel is leading a revolution in the Nigerian telecom space.

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In comments made during a parley with executives of Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Kamar Abass, CEO of ntel said “ntel is leading a revolution in the Nigerian telecom space. We have seen subscriber numbers rise to 152 million in 15 years and statistics from OVUM and GSMA indicate that the numbers will grow to about 222m by 2020. Ntel will help fuel that growth but we are looking at leading a transformation around broadband. Everything we see see shows that the broadband wave is coming. 2G has reached a plateau and even though we are seeing about 120 million 2G subscribers compared to under 1 million 4G subscribers today, that number will fall to about 23m 2G subscribers by 2020 with 4G subscribers rising to above 50m. ntel will help build that critical mass with our pure play 4G LTE network propagated over our Goldilock system with speeds of up to 240 mbps.” In South Africa, operators are already looking beyond 4G LTE to LTE Advanced which experts say has many benefits over standard LTE, including higher broadband speeds and lower latency.

In South Africa, operators are already looking beyond 4G LTE to LTE Advanced which experts say has many benefits over standard LTE, including higher broadband speeds and lower latency. It was first launched in South Africa by Telkom in Parkview and surrounding areas in November 2014 with Internet connectivity speeds of up to 150Mbps.

It was first launched in South Africa by Telkom in Parkview and surrounding areas in November 2014 with Internet connectivity speeds of up to 150Mbps. With ntel coming into the market to provide 4G data services alongside others like Spectranet and Smile and with MTN’s acquisition of Visafone and the imminent availability of the ‘digital dividend’ 700Mhz spectrum expected to be retrieved from the broadcasting sector for assignment to telecom operators in line with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recommendations, the projections by OVUM and GSMA in terms of 4G growth are looking more and more achievable with 2016 shaping up to be a very interesting one.

ntel is leading a revolution – Kamar Abass

“Many people believe that the Nigerian telecoms industry has witnessed a transformation in the past 15 years. With ntel coming on stream this year, I believe we are about to witness a revolution,” so said Kamar Abass CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s newest mobile network operator when he played host to a delegation from the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).

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If NiTel Rebounds http://www.ntel.com.ng/if-nitel-rebounds/ http://www.ntel.com.ng/if-nitel-rebounds/#comments Mon, 27 Jun 2016 14:30:59 +0000 http://www.ntel.com.ng/?p=6562 There are several reasons why the news of the possible rebound of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) should cheer every Nigerian. One is plain patriotism.

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There are several reasons why the news of the possible rebound of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) should cheer every Nigerian. One is plain patriotism. Or shouldn’t we be happy that our “national carrier,” if one may use a phrase usually applied in aviation to refer a telecom concern, could be revived after many years of being comatose, even though rejigged and relaunched under the ownership and management of a private investor?

The other is that it will strengthen competition in the telecom sector. And competition, the bane of monopoly, is the heart that pumps oxygenated blood in business, energising it in the greater interest of the customer.

And ours would become like other countries that continued to profit from the services of a national telecom company, with its fixed landlines, fax facilities and whatnot intact, despite having subscribed to mobile telephony, with the result that its citizens are provided with other means of enjoying telecom services than just through the GSM system with its paradoxically liberating and restrictive characteristics.  The other is that it will strengthen competition in the telecom sector. And competition, the bane of monopoly, is the heart that pumps oxygenated blood in business, energising it in the greater interest of the customer. We already know how it led one of our leading telecom companies to introduce per-second billing, ending an exploitative regime of per-minute billing where GSM calls were so calibrated that a caller was billed for a minute even for a call that lasted one second.

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