Fifth mobile operator starts services in Nigeria

Nigeria Mobile World Bank Photo Collection FlickrA new player in the market will give users more choice and the increased competition should improve services. (Image source: World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr)Nigeria has a new player in the telecommunications sector, with NTEL becoming the fifth mobile services operator in the West African country

NTEL is the new name for Nigerian Telecommunications Limited, or NITEL as it was formerly called. The erstwhile state-owned company was taken over by the NATCOM Development and Investment (NATCOM) consortium earlier this year. NATCOM has announced plans to offer its services across the country via GSM technology that will include 4G technology.

The rollout of services is starting from Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in the first phase of operations. Services will be extended to other states, towns and villages across the country in subsequent phases. Kamal Abass, CEO of the company, said that NTEL would launch international bandwidth services over SAT-3 cable and a 4G mobile network covering Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt in its first phase. “The first phase network will begin by deploying up to 800 sites, and later increase to 2,000 sites,” he said.

Abass also revealed that NTEL had revived the old NITEL SAT-3 cable that carries broadband capacities from Europe to Lagos, connecting South Africa and Far East African countries. Speaking on the benefits of the submarine cable, Abass said, “SAT-3 partnerships enable direct exchange of international traffic, known as IDD, with 35 partners.”

With over 1,100 km of ducts and over 4,000 km of fibre route in almost all states in Nigeria, NTEL has the infrastructure to provide fibre capacity services to most Nigerians.

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