Ntel, Nigeria’s 4G/LTE broadband provider has declared its ready to commence national roaming rolled-out in the second quarter of 2018.
Recall, ntel obtained the Nigerian Communications Commission’s (NCC) approval to commence a national roaming field trial with 9Mobile over a two-month period.
The initiative will provide fuller coverage to ntel’s subscribers and position the company as a network offering 4G/LTE as well as 3G and 2G services.
The Chief Executive Officer, ntel, Mr Ernest Akinlola, said that plans have reached advanced stage on collaborating with 9mobile and MTN to out the roaming service.
He disclosed this during the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) breakfast meeting in Lagos.
According to Akinlola, “In repositioning ntel for growth, there is need to have a national roaming service that will push the network forward. This roll-out will be in collaboration with two foremost operators, 9mobile Nigeria and MTN Nigeria and the service is expected to roll-out in quarter two, April to be specific,” he said.
The ntel CEO added that the collaboration with the two network was as a result of the complementary skills and robust customer service that would be utilised by parties involved.
“National roaming will help us accelerate custom acquisition. The partnership with 9mobile who have 2G/3G and then combined with our 4G will help customers enjoy the best data with good speed. It will help the network operators to become efficient and have less costing with the roll-out in 4G,” he explained.
Akinlola said the planned roll-out with 9mobile is on commercial decision stage and once there is a confirmation from 9mobile, then it is to seek approval from the Nigeria Communications Commission. “MTN has agreed for collaboration and will be going for a trial period with ntel,” he said.
He listed some of the benefits attached to rolling out of a national roaming service as; immediate coverage parity, service backward compatibility of 4G to 3G and 2G, handset compatibility and speed to scale.
The ntel CEO also added that apart from the national roaming service to reposition ntel, they also had an abundant broadband philosophy to leverage on existing equipment that are on ground.
He added that ntel also partnered with various companies such as Nokia, Samsung, Motorola for good available 5G LTE device that would push connectivity.
Akinlola listed some of the key driver to the growth of ntel as; customers scale above the line, marketing that helps keep customers engaged for them not be redundant, customer value management.
Others he listed as, increased smartphone support, rapid channel expansion drive and VAS revenue drive which had to do with enabling the ecosystem, young entrepreneurs to use the network.
He said that the buying of Nigeria Telecommunications Ltd, (NITEL) came with properties such as the SAT 3 and it would be utilised or even sold to Internet Service Providers to make an impact.
He said that projecting forward, ntel would expand its national coverage, network resilience and commercial expansion.
“ntel coverage is 72 per cent in Lagos, 92 per cent in Abuja and 60 per cent in Port Harcourt, also between 18 to 24 months, coverage will be in 20 states.
“There will be flooding of recharge card vouchers as from next week,” he said.
The Chairman, NITRA, Mr. Emma Okonji, in an interview with TechEconomy.ng said the IT reporters’ decision host to ntel was to understand the operator’s plans for the subscribers and market penetration strategies.
he said that ntel’s decision to embark on national roaming is a step in the right direction.