By Prince Osuagwu (Hi-Tech Editor)
NIGERIA’s telecommunications industry has moved to the next phase of growth with the firing up of 4G networks by at least two major operators within the same week. Globacom blazed the trail on Tuesday, 4th of October with the launch of 4G LTE services in nine cities at once. By that singular act the company claims to be the operator to launch the largest 4G LTE network in Nigeria, promising that with the service, it will stimulate telecom growth in the country.
Meanwhile, MTN followed closely behind as it launched its own 4 GLTE services on Thursday in the Federal Capital, Abuja. Burst of 4G LTE energy unleashed by these two operators seems to have also caught Etisalat which has announced its own readiness to begin providing its customers with 4G LTE services.
Globacom involved the crop of ICT editors from notable newspapers in its own 4G LTE launch at the company’s corporate head office at Mike Adenuga Towers, Victoria Island, Lagos. The company said the launch followed a thorough multidimensional test-running.
Telecom subscribers in several parts of key cities like Lagos, Port Harcourt in Rivers State, Abuja in the Federal Capital City, Jos in Plateau State, Warri in Delta State, Eket in Akwa Ibom State, Benin City in Edo State, Yola in Adamawa State and Zaria in Kaduna State can immediately have the pleasure of connecting to Glo 4G LTE network, while the company pledged that roll-out to other major cities of the country will happen swiftly.
Globacom said that its advanced 4G LTE network has provided a platform for millions of Nigerians to enjoy efficient mobile broadband internet at speeds multiple times faster than the 3G network. The instant benefit to subscribers is the ability to download ultra high definition videos in seconds.
With this development, subscribers on the Globacom network in any of its 4G LTE coverage areas can access data intensive applications with ease. No relief at this point can be greater to anyone who consumes huge volumes of data from individuals to governments at all levels, corporate organisations like banks, oil and gas companies, academic institutions and health institutions.
At the launch, Head, Corporate Sales, Globacom, Mr Kamaldeen Shonibare, said: “We are pleased to once again play a leading role in empowering Nigerians with world class data services, helping to close the digital divide. In the last one and a half years, the people of this great country have shown great patronage making us the largest data network in new subscriptions.
The best we can do for our people who believe in us and made us their number one data network is to give them the best technology. What we are offering is the new speed of life,” he added. Other key officials of the company, who witnessed the formal unveiling of the network included Regional Director, Technical, Sanjib Roy, and Head of Information Systems (IS), Ajay Satyarthi.
Dignitaries at the launch included the company’s Brand Ambassador, Odunlade Adekola, Managing Director of Huawei, Jin Renzhe and key Account Director, Huawei, Li Shaowei, among others.
One huge attraction in Globacom’s offering is free access to millions of songs and thousands of videos and movies on demand and a broad range of 4G data bundle offers to enable all categories of subscribers to have access to the revolutionary products and services.
For instance, for only N500, subscribers will get a whopping 1.6GB of data, while N1000 will give them 3.2GB data. Other exciting offers include 7.5GB for N2000, 10GB for N2,500, 18GB for N4000 and 24GB for N5000. The data plans range from N50 to N18,000 to suit everyone’s pocket.
In addition to its robust and pocket friendly data plans, Globacom is also offering a brand new 4G LTE router which gives access to Ultra High Speed Internet and landline, with free SIM, 60 GB of shareable data valid for a month and free world-class content for a one-off fee of N31,000. For those who prefer MiFi, Globacom is bundling its 4G MiFi with free SIM, 60 GB of shareable data valid for one month and free world-class content for a one-off fee of N25,000.
Shonibare said the Glo 4G LTE services would make life more interesting, comfortable and enjoyable for Nigerians as the advanced technology would touch all aspects of life from education to agriculture and medical care.
“Our subscribers today already enjoy downloading music, video and movie contents and streaming contents on their phones and other devices. But the new Glo 4G LTE network offers subscribers a significantly improved experience. The video and voice quality in video calls on different applications like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Viber etc is a lot clearer while the picture quality is crisper, and the transmission is faster,” he said.
He said the technology will enable Globacom to empower most of the over 150 million telecom subscribers in Nigeria to have access to the internet at a much faster speed, enjoy ultra high definition video without buffering and utilise other high intensive data applications with ease.
He described Globacom as the digital network for both the present and future generations. “We’re the next generation network, the grandmasters of data. That is why we have taken the lead in providing 4G LTE nationwide with mobility for Nigerians. We want them to experience the power of real time mobile broadband technology at the most affordable rates,” he said.
Shonibare said that within 24 hours of launch, over 15,000 subscribers signed up for the service with many of the early adopters of the new network testifying to the superior quality of the service. Areas of remarkable edge highlighted include speed, stability and indoor penetration.
Many Nigerians have praised the quality of Globacom’s 4G service and also commending the company for making it available beyond the major commercial cities of Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
Njideka Okafor, an information technology specialist who was among the very first set of Glo subscribers to upgrade to 4G service, said: “I can certify that 4G is a lovely experience. The speed is phenomenal. And the indoor penetration is excellent. I have the signal in every part of my house,” she said.