Glo Optic Fibre: The only road to world class telecoms services
NEVER has any issue rocked the Nigeria’s fledging telecommunications industry like the current poor quality of service as being witnessed in the country presently. Not even the contentious high tariff nor the much-talked about interconectivity imbroglio that has since been resolved.
Of course, to many stakeholders, the issue of quality of service has different meanings. Many did not want to know the cause or why the situation remains what it is today. And for an average subscriber, who thought he/ she has done the best by buying a N200 recharge card, nothing but the best is expected of the network.
Ordinarily, the situation shouldn’t have been this bad, had the country prepared for eventualities like the telecoms revolution. The Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL) to whom much was given, courtesy bad government policies and ineptitudeness, failed to institute the much-needed infrastructure that could have paved the way for seamless telecommunications services by the current operators in the country today.
But thanks in part to the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo who liberalised the telecomunications sector and the activities of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) which translated into the revolution being witnessed in the industry today regardless of the current hiccups.
And matter of factly, much credit goes to the Second National Carrier, Globacom Nigeria Limited, which came two years after three other GSM giants have commenced operations to chart many courses that have made telephony more accessible and affordable to every segment of the Nigerian society. Apart from the fact that it brought many innovations into the industry, the Second National Carrier has moved tremendously to enforce its terms of licence.
And to ensure that it fulfils is terms of licence effectively, Globacom has embarked upon various activities in this regard. Ever before the issue of poor telecoms services reared its ugly head, the company, knowing what it takes to give excellent telecoms services never left anybody in doubt as to its seriousness of purpose.
For instance, the company told the world that it has capacity for more than 30 million subscribers when its subscribers base was just about 10 million. Not many believed this, even now that its subscriber base is nearing 20 million. What can only bear witness is the fact that the network does not suffer any congestion and in fact, it is less bothered by poor telecoms services as attested to by the NCC’s exemption of the operator from its hammer.
In order to maintain the lead and to institute a complete world class telecommunications services, Globacom has since commenced the laying of a 10,000-kilometer-Optic Fibre-backbone round the country.The building of the Optic Fibre, which started some few years ago is nearing completion and may soon be completed in the next few months.
To date, the foremost telecoms company has launched three segments of the optic fibre in Minna, Niger State, Onitsha in Anambra state and Owerri in Imo state. As a matter of fact, the actual launching is just a formality as 90 per cent of the cities and villages in Nigeria have begun to enjoy the quality of the optic fibre, even though, they may not know this. But this could be evident in the excellent quality of service being witnessed on the Glo network nationwide.
In a nutshell, the Optic Fibre Cable backbone is an information super highway that transmits voice and data at the speed of light. It provides large bandwidth for offices and corporate organisations. With it, telecoms companies, internet service providers, individual businesses, manufacturers, oil companies, banks and financial institutions, governments and other corporate organisations have a better alternative for their bulk voice and data transmission requirements.
Part of the current problem resulting in the poor quality of service was that the country’s telecoms sector has relied so much on satellite and microwave transmission system which could not guarantee seamless telecoms services as the optic fibre would do. Therefore, a new dawn has come in the telecoms industry with the successful building of the optic fibre by Globacom.
Speaking at the launch of the Minna leg of the optic fibre ring in Niger state last year December, the state governor, Dr. Muazu Aliyu described the project as the new dawn in telecommunications services in Niger and neighbouring states.
During the inauguration ceremony in Minna last year, Mr. Mohammed Jameel, Globacom’s Chief Operating Officer disclosed that the optic fibre cable network had already covered the entire Lagos–Abeokuta–Ibadan route, Lagos–Ijebu-Ode–Ore–Benin and Abuja–Kaduna–Zaria–Kano routes. Only recently, the Onitsha–Awka–Enugu section of the Glo Optic fibre was launched, while just last week, the Owerri–Onitsha leg was launched in Owerri.
As Jameel pointed out, upon completion of the first phase of the optic fibre, the network will span 10,000 kilometres further covering Benin-Warri-Port Harcourt, Port-Harcourt-Aba–Umuahia–Owerri and Owerri–Onitsha–Enugu, Enugu–Oturkpo–Makurdi–Lafia–Abuja and Ibadan–Ilorin–Jebba–Mokwa–Bida–Minna–Abuja routes down to Kaduna–Zaria–Kano–Kebbi–Sokoto routes. He said there was no limit to the capacity of the infrastructure in terms of the volumes and data that can be transmitted.
Also, speaking during the inauguration of the Onitsha–Awka–Enugu leg of the optic fibre in Onitsha three weeks ago, the acting Chief Operating officer, Glo Broad Access, Mr. Martins Olowonihi said all this while all over the country, transmission on the GSM has been through microwave transmission and that as we know, this wasn’t the best way to communicate.
According to Olowonihi, there had been a lot of limitations; call drops, poor call completion etc, but that in order to give the best services to Nigerians, just like we have in America, Europe and all around the world, that Globacom was laying the ten thousand kilometer optic fibre ring round the country. He stated that the issue of poor telecoms services would be a thing of the past by the time the project is completed which he said would be in a couple of months from then.
During the inauguration of the Owerri- Onitsha leg of the optic fibre in Owerri last week, Olowonihi reiterated the superiority of the optic fibre to the satellite and microwave transmission networks, saying it eliminates problems caused by changes in weather conditions. According to him, while a thunderstorm can render the microwave and satellite ineffective, the optic fibre, he said is immuned from such problems. He said it guarantees high speed, reliable and voice connective and has a much faster transmission of data, voice and broadband internet and multi-media services.
Speaking at the launching ceremony in Onitsha, Governor Peter Obi of Anambra state said the efforts of Globacom to change the face of telecommunications by providing world class telecoms services were quite commendable. According to Governor Obi, Anambra has the biggest and largest market after Lagos, hence the launch of the infrastructure has become strategic to commercial activities in the state and the entire South-East in general. He urged the management of Globacom to continue the good work it was doing in the telecoms industry, noting that the sky was the limit.
What all this means is that, Globacom has once again blazed the trail in the telecoms industry with the revolution called the Optic Fibre backbone which is the magic needed for excellent telecommunications services that will end the industry’s poor service, at least on Glo’s network. It also means that Glo is now better placed to provide other telecoms operators with this facility as stipulated in its licence and will as well forge ahead with the commencement of its fixed telephony services.