Telecoms: Our $1bn rollout project on course, says Ntel

Posted on Jan 6 2017 - 2:42am by Kunle Azeez

Contrary to reports indicating a lull in its rollout activities, Ntel, the latest entrant into Nigeria’s telecoms sector, has said that its infrastructure rollout plan was on course.

Ntel is the name under which NATCOM Investment Limited, the company that bought over the defunct NITEL, trades in the country’s $68 billion telecoms market. According to Ntel, the $1 billion capital outlay it plans to spend over the next four years was to expand telco’s infrastructure programme.

The company disclosed early in the week that the infrastructure outlay of its Port-Harcourt rollout phase was on course, claiming that just like the feat it has achieved in Lagos and Abuja, it would achieve the largest ever deployed fourth generation Long Term Evolution (4G/LTE) by any telecoms network in Port Harcourt by June this year.

In a statement made available to New Telegraph yesterday, Chief Executive Officer, Ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass, said: “Ntel’s approach is to build Nigeria’s highest speed mobile broadband network, focus on statewide coverage, rather than hotspot only, and provide high volume Internet access via unlimited usage packages.”

He further said that Ntel’s 4G/LTE network currently served as the largest in the Abuja and Lagos market segments, while the feat would soon be achieved in Port- Harcourt before the end of the second quarter of this year.

According to Abass, “2017 promises to be better, as the company intensifies efforts to shore up its huge capital investments in the ensuing turnaround success story of the once defunct national behemoth.

The firm’s Corporate Affairs Chief, Mr. Toni Kan, said subscribers on Ntel network could now access the premier telco in Port-Harcourt and its environs, including Trans Amadi Layout; Airforce Rd, Eliozu; Nuwke Rd, 31st First Avenue Federal Housing Estate; Ikwere, Uniport Road; Ru muosi; Aburu Avenue; Ada George Mgbouba; Eliminigwe Estate; Elelenwo; Aba RD, among others.

While top sources in the company admitted that there had been challenges, especially in the area of foreign exchange (forex), they also pointed out that the problem was not peculiar to Ntel, as it cuts across all operators. Although Ntel’s has deployed what would be Nigeria’s first-ever (and still only) fourth generation Advanced Voice Long Term Evolution call (VOLTE) coupled with the launch of the 4G telephony technology, other telecom operators including Globacom, MTN and Etisalat have since introduced their 4G platforms as well.

“Ntel’s 4G LTE Advanced network provides crystal-clear voice-over LTE, a technology, which boasts of super faster call-connect times, music streaming, cloud services, TV, browsing, messaging and hot-spot services. It far exceeds the current 3G offering by other networks while still matching the coverage of the 3G networks across the country,” Ntel said in the statement.

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