Stories by Olabisi Olaleye
The issue of poor quality of service (QoS) has become a popular phrase in the country and several subscribers have come to accept their fate, while diverting their daily communications to various applications including BlackBerry messenger, Whatsapp, Skype, IMO and Viber.
But when NatCom Development and Investment Limited (trading as ‘ntel’), the company that acquired core assets of NiTel/MTel (in liquidation), disclosed that it had made its first data call on Voice over Long Term Evolution(LTE) in Lagos on Monday January 18, 2016, there was panic among telecommunications operators.
Smile Communications has also disclosed that it was offering its customers Voice over LTE services, giving them access to the fast growing global standard for voice and video calling.
According to the company, during a media briefing, SmileVoice comes in two options – using a world-first downloadable free mobile App that affords customers with a Smartphone Android and Apple iPhone device the ability to make super clear voice calls over Smile’s 4G LTE network, or through the use of VoLTE-enabled handsets plus a Smile SIM card, while Smile Unlimited offers customers 30 days of unlimited access to a superfast 4G LTE mobile broadband service.
VoLTE calls are enabled over a carrier’s high-speed data network instead of on a voice network. Voice over LTE calls also connect faster upon dialling and feature ultra-clear high-definition voice quality. LTE, or Long Term Evolution, is the new globally accepted 4G wireless standard. All of the United States of America carriers are now leveraging on it.
According to ntel CEO, Kamar Abass, it is confirmation that the key network elements are now in place to support the full commercial launch of premium integrated voice, video and data services over 4G/LTE.
He said: “The ntel network is built on the 900/1800 Mhz, which are the most efficient propagation frequencies for the deployment of 4G/LTE technology.”
Prior to the latest disclosure, industry watchers have predicted that the Global System for Mobile (GSM),gap will close eventually as everyone moves to 4G LTE. However, they disclosed that it doesn’t mean everyone’s phones will be compatible.
With the latest switch to LTE, stakeholders have continued to ask, if it would enhance the quality of service that the Nigerian subscribers needed badly. And whether it won’t be another story of challenges for the other operators on reasons they are yet to migrate to the next generation technology.
According to the President of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) and GSM technologies are almost dead.
“It is very clear that CDMA and GSM are mere technologies, and we know that technology keeps evolving. The GSM and CDMA technologies are near obsolete because new technologies are emerging, so they would have to go down the drain. The new technologies that are emerging include LTE, which is going to replace GSM and CDMA. It is no big deal because technology keeps changing every day, and in a few years, LTE would be obsolete, another technology would come in. There is nothing strange about that”. Adding thatVoLTE would definitely have a greater impact on voice clarity, given the speed of the new technology.
Another industry watcher, Martin Taylor added that most operators are turning on in different frequency bands, with different 3G backup systems, and even, in the case of the new network, using an LTE variant (TD-LTE) , many Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs), would start to upgrade their devices to fit perfectly to the latest technology.
On his part, the Nigerian Communications Commission’s Executive Vice Chairman, Prof Umar Danbatta at a recent industry event explained that the latest voice over long term evolution has come to stay and believed that it would further deepen the broadband penetration as well as accelerate the GDP of the economy.
“At the end of 2014, the total foreign investment into the sector $32 billion, the sector has contributed to the consolidatory account of the government, I think, something in the region of N500 billion. The sector has created jobs like I said, about 2.5 both direct and indirect employment and the contribution to GDP is about 11 per cent. The internet penetration is also about 97 million Nigerians having access to the internet, by the time we deploy broadband infrastructure to roll out broadband and services, we envisage the internet penetration to rise astronomically,” he said.
Vodacom Business Nigeria appoints first Nigerian MD
Vodacom Business Nigeria has appointed its first Nigeria Managing Director, Mr. Lanre Kolade.
With the appointment, which took effect from April 1, 2016, Kolade has taken the reins at Vodacom Business Nigeria, replacing Guy Clarke, who after eight years at the helm, returns to South Africa to take up the role of Managing Director, Vodacom Business Africa.
Commenting on the appointment, Chairman of Vodacom Business Nigeria, Vuyani Jarana, says: “Lanre has been a senior leader and key component of the succession management plan; he is a perfect choice to lead the company at a time when the Nigerian economy, like most African economies, is undergoing major difficulties”.
Vodacom Business Nigeria provides total communications solutions to enterprises in Nigeria, ranging from IPVPN, internet of things (IoT), cloud, hosting services, enterprise mobility applications that transform key value chains such as healthcare, agriculture and education.
kolade has been in the Telecoms industry for over 19 years and has recently served as the Managing Director of Vodacom Business responsible for business growth in West, East and parts of Southern Africa excluding South Africa, Nigeria and Zambia. A graduate from Obafemi Awolowo University, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa and the London Business School, UK, is a seasoned and innovative business leader who is passionate about people and great customer service.
According to Kolade, Nigeria’s economy is fast digitising, enterprises must invest in digital platforms that will enable them to capture the opportunities presented by a fast digitizing Nigerian consumer. He added that Vodacom Business Nigeria is well positioned to help enable enterprises in Nigeria to take advantage of opportunities brought by the digital economy. He is committed to delivering best customer service and innovation to Nigeria’s business customers.
LG woos customers with 10 years warranty on core tech
With the constant evolving of technology, LG Electronics is focused on providing consumers 10-year-warranty on its core technologies that have gained international recognition and patent right.
These products include the refrigerators with Inverter linear and smart inverter compressors, chest freezer, washing machines with Inverter Direct Drive motor, charcoal lighting heater in charcoal microwave and cordless vacuum cleaner with smart inverter motor.,
Commenting on this development, General Manager, Home Appliances Division, LG Electronics, West Africa operations, Mr. Hyunwoo Jung said: “At LG, we understand that durability is just as important as strong performance. A large range of our products are backed by 10-year warranty, ensuring worry-free operation year after year. LG Electronics is the first electronic brand in Nigeria to offer a decade-long warranty of reliability on a large gamut of its product offerings. The 10 year warranty offering covers only specific parts of the selected products from the date of purchase.”
He maintained that LG is committed to delivering products that allow users to experience life in more meaningful ways, including how it impacts the environment.
“With the introduction of the 10-year warranty on its refrigerators, front Load as well as top load washing machines, charcoal Lighting Heater Microwave and Cordless vacuum cleaner, LG Electronics has once more indicated its commitment to delighting as well as meeting the peculiar needs of its Nigerian consumers.”
SB Telecoms & Devices to host TAMS summit
As part of efforts to sensitise Nigerians on the virtues of time consciousness and its benefits, SB Telecoms & Devices will host the inaugural edition of its high-level time management meeting, tagged TAMS Summit on May 19, 2016.
The summit is inspired by the success and acceptance of the company’s Time Attendance Management System (TAMS) software.
TAMS is a robust cloud-based time and attendance management application that allows organisations to centrally monitor the attendance of their employees across multi-locations from any part of the world.
Speaking on the need for the summit, Chief Executive Officer, SB Telecoms & Devices, Mr. Afolabi Abiodun said “In today’s Nigeria, the African Time Syndrome has become the norm rather than the exception. It has devotees across all sectors of the economy with institutional and national inefficiency as the visible output. As a people we have always excused this away by blaming the unreliable public transport system, poor road networks or traffic jams. The goal of the TAMS Summit, which was inspired by the acceptance and success of our TAMS application which has solved this same problem for over 1000 organisations, is to question the status quo. We believe this to be the significant first step required to make Nigerians more time conscious thereby improving our national productivity level.”