Nigeria's Ntel Seeks $1 Billion Investment for 4G LTE Service Expansion
Nigeria's internet provider Ntel seeks $1 billion investment for 4G mobile broadband by 2020. It has finished plans of rolling out services starting April 8 and will offer fourth generation Long Term Evolution network service to begin from Lagos to Abuja.
Sub-Saharan African mobile internet companies are enticing investors because of fixed-line infrastructure deficiency to assist the rising demand for online access. In August, the Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd. raised $365 million to extend its wireless internet network in Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania while MainOne Cable Co. which is based in Lagos plans to raise $300 million in July, as reported by Bloomberg.
"We are speaking to investors and to banks who are interested in a growth story for Africa," Chief Executive Officer Kamar Abass, 51, said in an interview on March 31. "We are seeing the very beginnings of a shift from a voice-oriented communications market in Nigeria to one that will be dominated by mobile broadband."
He added that Ntel has spread out almost 600 base transceiver stations in the two cities and will be built with 2000 sites as the network expands. It also has placed LTE Advanced which is the most updated 4G technology with multi-antenna MIMO sites, allAfrica reports.
According to a report by TECHCABAL, Ntel will embark phase 1 of their product launch on April 8, selling their 0804 mobile numbers specifically in Abuja and Lagos. The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has provided Ntel the license to establish its VoLTE (Voice over LTE) network and has deployed nearly 200 kilometers of metro fiber optic transmission cables.
Ntel is the rebirth of the no longer operating telecoms company NITEL. Last year, its assets were turned over by the Nigerian government to NATCOM (Nitel's parent company) in $252 million deal.
Ntel will battle with Nigeria's four mobile companies namely, Bharti Airtel Ltd. of India, Etisalat, Globacom (local provider) and MTN. The company will begin servicing Lagos and Abuja on April 8.
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