By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA- The Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has charged telecom operators in the country to ensure an inclusive and network coverage across the country.
The minister gave the charge yesterday at the launch of Airtel 4G LTE network in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
He described the launch as ‘a major milestone for Airtel to provide leadership in setting the technology standard for 4G services by rolling out its cutting edge network in line with its corporate vision of becoming a first class mobile internet service provider in Nigeria.’
He commended Airtel Nigeria for deploying 4G in Ibadan and the Federal Capital City, Abuja and charged the network operator to ensure that no part of the country is left out in having the high-speed internet experience at available and affordable cost.
‘‘Since the launch of Airtel 4G network in Ibadan, it has been driving growth, prosperity, empowering highly enterprising people in the state. I believe this same scenario will be replicated in Abuja and other states so that people can fulfill their potentials and realize their dreams.
‘‘I am excited that Airtel is setting the pace on providing leadership by rolling out 4G network in line with the vision of becoming the first mobile network service provider in Nigeria.
‘‘The 4G LTE network comes with a lot of opportunities. Among other things, we do know that it allows for improved online experience, provides better performance of multi-media applications, enhances voice and HD video calls and compatible with existing telecoms infrastructure. Without a doubt, 4G will improve productivity and held drive economic opportunities across the FCT.
“The Federal Government is happy to celebrate with Airtel on this milestone and on other effort aimed at achieving robust and extensive network coverage in Nigeria”.
He charged Airtel Nigeria to simplify the process of connecting to 4G network just as it rolls out specific offers that will delight the network consumers, regardless of their income level and social status.
‘‘It is important to ensure their inclusiveness despite their social status. They should ensure service get to every door step, not only in Abuja but every part of Nigeria. I urge you to sustain these giant strides in the interest of ensuring equity among the various communities in Nigeria.
“I am happy with this development because it aligns with the Federal Government’s plan of empowering Nigerians and democratizing mobile broadband by making it affordable to all,” he noted.’’
He urged subscribers to use the 4G network service to empower themselves.
Airtel’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Segun Ogunsanya, while speaking during the event said the 4G LTE is a technology that puts power in the hands of its users because it provides a superfast mobile broadband to Nigerians.
He said the latest technology launch in Abuja would empower more Nigerians, stimulate economic activities across all sectors, as well as provide unfettered access to affordable and reliable mobile broadband.
Ogunsanya said the telco has in the past seven weeks upgraded and modernized its network infrastructure in the nation’s capital to improve productivity, spread prosperity, and help telecoms consumers in Abuja to fulfill their potentials as well as realize their dreams.
“Ours is a 4G service that is not only fast and reliable but a 4G Service that works! We are enabling mobile first, mobile only access to the Internet. If you have only one TV in your household, you don’t have to argue over remote control. Your Phone equals Your TV!
“Already, I have started getting some positive reviews of the Airtel 4G service in Abuja. We pioneered GSM in Nigeria. First GSM call in Nigeria was made on our Network in 2001. Now we are launching the best 4G network in Abuja. We keep connecting people and businesses,” he said.
The Airtel CEO also noted that since the 4G was first launched in Ibadan in February this year, there has been positive feedback from users, friends and other stakeholders in Ibadan, attesting to the speed of the network.
He said the company plans to extend the technology to all over the country before the end of the year, making it the widest 4G network in Nigeria.
In his presentation, Airtel’s Chief Commercial Officer, Ahmad Mohkles said the potential for 4G network in Nigeria is huge as only about 100 million of the 139 million mobile phone users have access to internet.
He said the 4G technology would be around for a long time, and urged Nigerians to swap their old Airtel SIM cards to the latest technology to enjoy superfast mobile Internet.