TECHNOLOGY & CONVERGENCE

Nigeria: MTN Makes First 3G Call

MTN Nigeria Communications Limited has made a successful "voice and video" test call on its 3G UMTS technology platform. Chief Technical Officer of MTN Nigeria, Karl Toriola explained that the company has begun call testing of its 3G network between Lagos , Abuja and Port Harcourt .

According to him, "we are working assiduously to complete the ring of Lagos , Abuja and Port Harcourt in the next few months so that customers on our network would begin to enjoy the multi-purpose benefits associated with 3G calls."

He went on further to state that MTN's speedy roll out of the 3G has been facilitated by the existence of its 3,500 kilometre Fibre Optic network, which is the longest private superhighway way in Africa. The facility will boost seamless 3G calls on the network. It will be recalled that MTN launched the state of the art facility in a glittering ceremony last year which attracted senior Government officials, Regulators and the crème of society.

He explained that not all handsets are 3G enabled. However, for those with 3G facilities, customers will be able to use both GSM and 3G networks once they request and activate 3G subscription.

He added that the "key value of 3G telephony is the ability to transport high speed data over the wireless network with full mobility. The high speed mobility enables internet browsing, TV, video calls and all forms of content and value added services, to be at the fingertips of customers".

Toriola explained further that work is already at an advanced stage to ensure that all customers on the MTN Network are able to begin to enjoy the advantage of making crystal clear voice and video calls on their 3G enabled GSM phones.

It will be noted that MTN Nigeria was the first GSM Company to pay $150Million for the recently awarded 3G licenses, awarded by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) earlier this year. Since then, it has been working tirelessly to deploy 3G UMTS enabled technology in order to meet customers' expectations.

Daily Trust (Abuja), 14 May 2007

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