Thursday, February 28, 2008

3G Plus goes commercial in Lagos

Globacom’s Third Generation (3G) product known as 3G Plus has gone commercial, according to sources at the Second National Operator (SNO) headquarters, Mike Adenuga Towers (MAT) in Lagos.

Champion Infotel also gathered that the 3G Plus services launched last December is now available to subscribers in Lagos State and its environs.

This, it was further gathered followed the approval of the tariffs for the 3G services by the regulator, the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC) at the weekend.

But confirming the commercial availability of its 3G Plus, Glo officials said that it comes in both prepaid and post-paid format, which means that subscribers on the network no matter their platform would enjoy the services, especially those who have mobile phones compatible to 3G technology.

Glo also said that for any subscriber to join the craze, such a person would be required to send ‘Activate’ to 444 through Short Messaging Service (SMS), while others without 3G phones could procure 3G compatible devices and 3G High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) data cards by visiting the Gloworld outlets in Lagos.

Globacom equally said the areas in Lagos where 3G Plus is available include Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Lekki, Lagos Island, Murtala Mohammed Airport, Alaba, Ikeja Mainland and Surulere. Others are Apapa, Berger, Egbeda, Ejigbo, Festac Town, Okota and Lagos State University Ojo.

Champion Infotel recalls that with this development, Glo has confirmed its pioneer status as the first network in West Africa to commercially launch 3G-HSDPA services. The company launched the service formally at a ceremony at Banquet Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.

Further, the telco pointed out that services immediately available on its 3G Plus include video calling, High Speed Internet (HSI), mobile TV and video-on-demand.

A press statement from Globacom showed, for instance, that Video Calling also known as “videophone” enables two subscribers with 3G video phones to talk to each other while viewing real-time 2-way live video between each other.

To be able to use this service, the operator said, the caller and the recipient are both required to be within the Glo 3G coverage areas.

“Our subscribers in Lagos can now make and receive live video calls to friends, family and colleagues across the Glo 3G Plus network,” the statement read.

The service, according Glo attracts N50 per minute or N1 per second for both prepaid and post-paid subscribers, with only the calling party being charged.

Further, the telco said that Video Calling is currently being offered at a promotional offer of N30 per minute or 60 kobo per second during the first 30 days of launch, after which the N50 per minute or N1 per second charge would take effect.

Glo added that with its 3G Plus Mobile’s High Speed Internet Access, subscribers would be able to browse the World Wide Web directly on their handsets or laptops at any where with computers at speeds of up to 3.6 Mega Bytes Per Second (Mbps) within the Glo 3G coverage area.

This, Globacom explained, is charged with a monthly rental of N15,000, or with a browsing rate of 35 kobo per kilobyte at peak times and 20 kobo per kilobyte at off- peak times, depending on the subscribers desired package.

Also, Glo stated that a promotional 3G data card package is also available for the first 30 days of launch.

On its Mobile TV, otherwise called Video Streaming, subscribers would be allowed to watch premium TV channels anywhere within the Glo 3G coverage areas on their 3G phones.

“CNN and Silverbird TV are immediately available on the service while Fashion TV and other channels will be added to the bouquet shortly,” Globacom said, even as the service could be accessed at 7 kobo per kilobyte.

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