ntel Kicks-off First National Roaming in April, Partners 9mobile, MTN

Director, Corporate Affairs, Osondu Nwokoro, Chief Financial Officail, Mr. Ernest Ahbulime, Managing Director/CEO, Ernest Akinlola, NITRA Chairman, Emma Okonji and Acting Director, Marketing & Strategy, Olajide Mafolabomi

In a couple of months, ntel Nigeria formerly known as NITEL will make history in Nigeria’s telecom industry by becoming the first mobile telephone company to launch national roaming.
The company is leveraging on its advantage as the first to introduce 4LTE technology into the country and the 3G opportunity edge of the robust network of 9mobile to further expand its footprint across the six geo-political zone of Nigeria.
Speaking as a guest at the monthly breakfast meeting organised by Nigeria Technology Reporters Association (NITRA) for chief executive officers, managing directors and other top executives of ICT companies in Nigeria, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Ernest Akinlola stated discussions with 9mobile and approval from the Nigerian Communications Commission for the roll out has reached advanced stage and by April this year it will roll out national roaming services.
Akinlola disclosed that the level of the discussion is now on the pricing aspect of the agreement of the national roaming agreement between the two parties saying “ntel is preparing to roll out National Roaming services (2G and 3G) with two foremost operators, 9mobile Nigeria and MTN Nigeria.”
According to him, the national roaming service is expected to go live in Q2 2018 noting that it is awaiting the launch approval of the 9mobile partner from the NCC and that discussion on that of MTN Nigeria is on-going.
Some benefits that will accrue to ntel from the national roaming agreement are immediate coverage parity, service backward-compatibility (4G to 3G/2G), set compatibility and speed to scale stressing that it has already expanded support for 4G LTE VoLTE Devices to include leading OEMs like Samsung, Nokia and Huawei.
Akinlola who addressed technology reporters alongside the Acting Director, Marketing and Strategy, Mr. Olajide Mafolabomi, Director, Corporate Affairs, Mr. Osondu Nwokoro and Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Ernest Ahbulime added that besides using the roll out for customer acquisition, it also intends to use it for its 4G network roll out saying that it already has 72 % coverage in Lagos, South West Nigeria.
Speaking further on future development at ntel, Akinlola revealed that it presently 60 % coverage in Port Harcourt South East Nigeria and intends to expand to 20 states across Nigeria in the next eight months depending on the approval of the regulator, NCC.
While disclosing that it will soon began the sale of recharge cards from the value of N500 for voice and data, the ntel boss said that ntel has not been able to do voice services due to some technical reasons but that with the national roaming, voice will now be possible.
In its aggressive campaign to get more share of the market, ntel is looking at the potentials of the social media as well as the roll out of brand ambassadors.
Akinlola who spoke on the subject, ‘ntel: Building Abundant Broadband’ said that ntel is building its own metro fibre in cities across Nigeria and that the ntel SAT 3, which it acquired from NITEL presents provides services for ISPs in Nigeria adding that it is making strategic investment in microwave technology,introducing wifi for enterprise and relaying cables in ducts.
Giving insight into its market growth performance, Akinlola stated that the LTE launch that itr embarked stunted the its growth but however noted that ntel is growing at more than twice the speed it grew in 2017 recording 167% compounded average growth in customer numbers between October 2017 and February 2018.
He said further that “we have recorded 50% overall growth between October 2017 and February 2018” saying that its key commercial initiatives driving growth are customer value management,VAS Revenue Drive, enhance ROI, increased smartphone support,cluster activation campaigns, rapid channel expansion drive and revamping existing channels, specifically device retail.
On funding and Investment for future expansion, he said that ntel its current funding and investment initiatives include strong shareholder support to bridge immediate funding gaps adding that it is keen on external party investment (debt/equity) that will further boost ntel’s efforts to bring affordable and abundant broadband to all Nigerians.
Isaiah Erhiawarien


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