Second national operator, Globacom is keen on irking out more revenue from data services in view of the steady decline in voice revenue. The company is making significant investments in broadband network testing and upgrades for migration to Long Term Evolution – a new wireless platform which offers better broadband speeds and efficiency, as they look to drive up data revenues. This new wireless technology, according to Mohammed Jameel, group chief operating officer, Globacom will allow the company deliver innovative offerings well beyond mundane voice and data services.
Global service revenues generated by LTE mobile networks are forecast to reach $100 billion by next year, and Globacom is angling for a slice of the cake. As part of a new effort to strengthen the capacity of the network, Globacom signed contracts with two Chinese companies, Hauwei ($750mn) and ZTE ($500mn), totaling $1.2 billion for network optimisation and upgrades. These contracts will see Globacom embark on a complete overhaul of its 9 year old network, placing it in good stead to provide best-in-class communications services to its over 25 million telecoms subscribers.
Industry players say the market focus of the telecoms industry is shifting from voice to internet and data services, which are of high value for business, education, social and entertainment purposes. Speaking at the signing ceremony of one of the contract, Jameel pointed out that as part off the deal, Globacom would expand its in-land fibre infrastructure to enable it carry more internet traffic across the length and breadth of the country. “We are upgrading the fibre transport network from 10gigabytes to 100 gigabytes. “This capacity will cater to our subscribers for ten to 15 years”, he added.
“As we mark our ten years of operation in Nigeria, we have decided to concentrate on upgrading our network with the latest, best-in-breed technology, which can provide a bullish network that can provide innovative services to our customers.” The implementation of the contracts, Jameel said, would mean that every element of the network, ranging from Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), Mobile Switching Centres (MSC) and transmission infrastructures, among others, would be upgraded to position the network to meet the ever-growing demands of telecoms subscribers.
Jameel also said affordability of service will get better, further adding that the company will work to bring Wi-Fi to schools, libraries, hospitals, etc. Responding on behalf of ZTE at the signing ceremony, the Managing Director, Zenghong Ma, expressed delight for the opportunity to partner a technologically advanced company run by professionals like Globacom. “Today, we start a new cooperation to expand and upgrade Globacom’s 2G and 3G facilities to ensure a smooth transition to 4G platform which will benefit a lot of Nigerians,” Ma said.