Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Glo’s bid for 2.3GHz spectrum licence will enhance telecom service

Nigeria’s National Carrier, Globacom, has stated that it is bidding for the 2.3GHz broadband spectrum licence being auctioned by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) as part of its aggressive investment strategy to give Nigerians the best-in-class telecom services. 

The licence, the company further explained, would ultimately improve the quality of service available to all telecom subscribers nationwide.

Speaking during a courtesy call on him by the leadership of Nigeria Information Technology Reporters’ Association (NITRA), Globacom Group Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Mohamed Jameel, said the company remains committed to its aggressive investment drive, adding that obtaining the broadband spectrum licence on offer would enable the company to mobilise necessary infrastructure to move telecommunications to its next phase of development in Nigeria.

According to the NCC’s plan, the winner of the single 2.3 GHz spectrum will become the sole wholesaler of broadband services to other service providers in the Nigerian market. Mr. Jameel stressed that the licence has therefore placed a critical responsibility on the licence winner because going forward, there will be more dependence on the Internet.

“There’s going to be more reliance on cloud services and for that to work efficiently, you have to be surrounded by the internet. Globacom is equipped to make that happen. We have the capacity to deploy very quickly, the technical know-how and the international bandwidth through our Glo 1 submarine cable,” he said.

On the issue of quality of service, Mr. Jameel said no operator is happy when the quality of service is poor, explaining that any spell of sub-optimal service quality saddens the company because of the lost revenue for as long as it lasts.

“When a site goes down, it negatively impacts the quality of service in the immediate community it is meant to serve. If it is a hub site, the negative impact transcends the immediate community, because other sites dependent on the site that is down will also be technically out of commission. In essence, a site that goes down can negatively impact thousands of subscribers far and near, and the operator is incapable of making revenue. We don’t want that. No operator wants that,” he said.

He identified equipment vandalism, wilful shutdown of base stations by agencies of government and power cuts as some of the main causes of spells of sub-optimal quality of service on telecom networks in Nigeria. 

He called on the government to assist telecom operators to fight some of the challenges militating against quality of service. He said for instance, it will be helpful for the government to harmonise all the taxes payable by operators for its infrastructure across the country. 

He argued that if an operator knows that it is to pay certain amount for its installation in a particular location, it will be easy to factor this cost into its budget at the beginning of each year and pay. He said this will prevent situations where Local Government and other agencies of government shut down cell sites over revenue issues.

The leadership of NITRA led by its president, Emma Okonji and Vice President, Stanley Okenwa, lauded Globacom for its massive investment in the Nigerian telecom industry. They described Globacom as ‘the greatest driver of local content in Nigeria’s telecommunications sector” and urged the company not to relent in its efforts to empower Nigerians.