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Thursday, March 30, 2006

GSM Africa-06 ends in Abuja

•Glo, Ericsson shine

REMMY NWEKE & CHIKE ONWUEGBUCHI

The first-ever continental Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) Association’s meeting in Abuja, ends today, with the Second National Operator (SNO) shining at the event with avalanche of products.

Chief Operating Officer at Globacom, Mr. Mohammed Jameel said the event provided the telco a good opportunity to showcase what it has for the continent and the kind of products Nigerians are already savouring.

He was excited the event held in the country and described it as “a needed booster for the growth and development of the GSM industry in the country.”

The meeting which took place at the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja, began on Monday, March 27.

Globacom, has said its showcasing of niche products and value added services (VAS) at the conference and exhibition, anchored on its Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS), Point to Point Connectivity over GPRS, Glo MMS, Glo Mobile internet, Glo M-Banking, Roaming, Vehicle Tracking, Fleet Management Solution and Glo Fax as a warm up to its desire to expand into the continent.

Meanwhile, excited Vice chairman, GSM Africa and chairman of the GSM Consultative Forum Nigeria, Mr. Ogugua Chioke, told newsmen it is a privilege for the nation to host it.

Sponsored by all the GSM operators in the country, including Vmobile, MTN Nigeria, MTel and Glo, as well as some multinational telecom companies like Motorola, Celtel, Nokia and Ericsson, the event has the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Communications and the regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

The conference comprised three sessions, namely the GSM Africa exhibition, strategic and technical in that order.

The technical session, he explained, complemented the strategic conference and provided a platform for a series of presentations with focus on GSM development and evolving mobile technology in Africa.

Participants cut across Director, Strategic Initiative at GSM Association, Mr. Ben Soppitt, head, governemnt relations, Vee Networks Nigeria, Mr. Osondu Nwokoro, and chief technical officer (CTO) of MTN Nigeria, Ms Funke Opeki and chief executive, MTel, Nigeria, Mr. Edwin Moor Momife in that order.

Meanwhile, Managing Director, of Ericsson Nigeria, Mr. Leif Edwall, said the GSM Africa Conference, which Nigeria is hosting for the first time, is a veritable window to the opportunities that exist in Nigeria’s telecoms sector. “Nigeria has made huge progress in the last six years, growing its telecoms subscriber base from about half a million to several millions. It is one of the fastest growing markets in the world, and hosting the GSM Africa Conference here will focus greater attention on the market,” he said.

The event, which ends today is sponsored by Ericsson among other telecom industry operators, including the four mobile phone service providers in Nigeria. The annual GSM Africa event brings together GSM equipment manufactures, financiers, network operators, as well as other stakeholders.

Ericsson is at the heart of the growth of mobile technology, where over 40 per cent of global mobile phone traffic is routed through its routers and switches. Its solutions also give operators flexibility in delivering first class services to their subscribers. “Ericsson’s support to the telecoms industry is in tandem with our desire to move the sector forward, by investing in R&D, and providing operators with solutions that have impacted on service delivery and their bottomline,” said Mr. Edwall.

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