TELECOMS

Globalstar launches satellite phone service in Nigeria with investment from Yakubu Gowon

Satellite phone provider Globalstar is opening a local operation in Nigeria to be called GlobalTouch with US$10 million investment from a Nigerian former Head of State, General yakubu Gowon. The satellite gateway for the service will be located in Kaduna and the operation will be run by a former Nitel Executive Director. It says it wants to reduce the currently high costs of mobile satellite telephony and that it will be operational by April 2009. Globalstar has a 30% stake in the project.

The Managing Director of Globaltouch, Engr. Isaiah Abdullahi Mohammed told the local press that as a direct satellite communication service it is capable of covering areas not reached by GSM services providers. Besides clarity of voices and ability to operate everywhere, the managing director said that Nigerians could have access to a tracking technology where "customers could use satellite modems and integrated back office management solutions to track mobile assets, such as aircraft, vehicle trailers, cargo containers and maritime assets.

Globaltouch’s coverage will include strategic Nigerian telecoms market, the surrounding portions of western Africa, as well as parts of the coastal Atlantic and GWF of Guineas marine region.

On the board of Globaltouch is former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon who is the chairman, Chief Ebenezer Folorunsho Oke who was a former President of Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) is the Vice Chairman. Other directors of the company are Alhaji MD Yusuf, former Inspector General of Police, Manasseh Zorto and Barrister Dan Habu, among others.

Globaltouch was granted license by the Nigerian Communications Commission in January 2004 to offer Global Mobile Personal Communication (GMPCS) network service in Nigeria via satellite. Meanwhile works is in progress at the project site of the gateway located in Kaduna industrial area.

Daily Trust Abuja

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