“Many people believe that the Nigerian telecoms industry has witnessed a transformation in the past 15 years. With ntel coming on stream this year, I believe we are about to witness a revolution,” so said Kamar Abass CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s newest mobile network operator when he played host to a delegation from the Association of Telecom Companies of Nigeria (ATCON).
The 7 man ATCON delegation led by their President, Engineer Lanre Ajayi paid a courtesy call on Abass and his team at ntel’s project office in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Wednesday January 21, 2015. The visit was to appraise ntel’s readiness for launch, introduce the association to ntel and establish a symbiotic relationship with the new entrant.
The meeting was auspicious, coming as it did, just one week after ntel and its parent company, Natcom Investment and Development Company made an appearance before the House of Representatives Committees on Communications and Privatization/Commercialization.
During the appearance, Olatunde Ayeni, chairman of NATCOM who said his company was committing $1bn to roll out and expansion in the first 5 years also added that the network will be launching full commercial operations by March 2016 in 3 major cities; Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos and providing direct and indirect employment to over 4,000 Nigerians.
In his welcome remarks during the meeting with ATCON, Abass said “ntel is leading a revolution in the Nigerian telecom space. We have seen subscriber numbers rise to 152 million in 15 years and statistics from OVUM and GSMA indicate that the numbers will grow to about 222m by 2020. Ntel will help fuel that growth but we are looking at leading a transformation around broadband.”
Kamar Abass who is a passionate advocate of abundant broadband and the possibilities thereof added that “data enables all sorts of basic applications and what we see shows that the broadband wave is coming. 2G has reached a plateau and even though we are seeing about 120 million 2G subscribers compared to under 1 million 4G subscribers today, that number will fall to about 23m 2G subscribers by 2020 with 4G subscribers rising to above 50m. ntel will help build that critical mass with our pure play 4G LTE network propagated on our Goldilock system with speeds of up to 240 mbps.”
In his response, Engineer Ajayi who said ATCON is seeking ntel’s membership in order to “assist us in policy formulation and advocacy” also added that “the industry is excited with ntel’s imminent entry especially because ntel’s is not focusing on making money but on developing and building capacity in the industry.”
Natcom is the consortium that acquired the assets of NiTel/MTel in a guided liquidation process which was overseen by the BPE and NPC. The company which will trade under the ntel brand name, plans to offer Nigerian subscribers value driven superfast broadband internet services in alignment with the Federal Government’s plan for a 5 fold broadband increase by 2018. ntel will launch a pure play 4G LTE Mobile service that will offer high speed data, high-definition voice and video on demand.