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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Stepping up convergence with BroadAccess


The recent launch of Glo’s BroadAccess is a step in the right direction for the much touted convergence to take root in the country, reports REMMY NWEKE.


Imagine a situation when you now have telephony access with voice and data, all simply in one cable with a modern technology that converts existing twisted-pair telephone lines into access paths for multi media and high speed data communications.

Within the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and technically, this technology is known as a Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), which brings to the table a world of digital convergence; where all digital communication is made possible with a variety. One of the pair of the telephone lines tends to offer any subscriber the traditional land line telephony, fastest broadband internet, video and television.

And unveiling this elegance of services a fortnight ago, the Second National Operator (SNO), Globacom, unwrapped its fixed line service codenamed ‘Glo broad access’ with potentials to change the face of telecommunications in the country. Leading the Glo family at the presentation penultimate Tuesday in Lagos, the Group Chief Operating Officer (GCOO), Globacom, Mr. Mohammed Jameel, said that Glo’s SNO license affords the operator to provide a fixed line network for Nigeria.

Operating under the name, Glo Broadaccess, Jameel said Globacom strategy is to transform the country’s underdeveloped fixed telephony by way of offering the benefits of convergence of advanced voice, advanced data and advanced video on one single wired line.

According to him, from integrated telephone services for corporate organisations and small business enterprises to user friendly plans for homes, Broadaccess tends to bring innovative, cost-effective solutions to accommodate customers’ needs. Pointing out that with this unveiling, Glo has scored another first in the telecom revolution of this country, especially for its over 22 million subscribers.

“It has been a dream comes through for Glo,” he asserted, noting that Glo Broadaccess is a technology that provides voice, image, data for customers, which does not in any form replace its GSM, just as the fixed line has features more than the GSM platform including call forwarding, alert aside from providing rich internet access.

At the initial stage, Jameel said, the fixed line services would be available in 13 major cities in Nigeria with a capacity of 300,000 lines, and in order to achieve this, the larger project of networking Nigeria, state of the art equipment and a 10,000 kilo meters (km) long distance optical fibre backbone and city network are being deployed.

Additionally, he said, some of the services that would be launched on Glo Fixed network to include telephone, the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines, which has been subdivided into the Basic Rate Interface (BRI) and Primary Rate Interface (PRI), Centrex, Internet Protocol (IP) cum Virtual Private Network (VPN), leased line, video conferencing, high speed internet – ADSL, call centre service, nationwide single number, video on demand (VOD), triple play, broadcast TV, gaming, video mailbox to name a few.

The core service packages of broad access, he said, is beyond basic telephony, as users are offered a host of Value Added Services (VAS), just as each telephone connection from Globacom’s BroadAccess is backed with the superior fiber-optic backbone for enhanced reliability and quality.

The special guest of honour at the occasion and honourable Minister of State for Information and Communications, Alhaji Aliyu Bilbis commended Globacom for the launch and said that it has been a change agent in the nation’s telecommunications sector, moreso with its fixed line telephony.

Bilbis said, Broadaccess from Glo would accelerate economic growth in the country, even as he made the first official call on the network during the high profile launch in Lagos. He stressed that Glo has with Broadaccess, once again challenged other networks with the introduction of its latest service.

“Glo is known for its commitment to innovation. The benefit of a fast internet platform and fixed line which Glo has now brought to Nigeria cannot be overemphasized because it will make enormous contributions to the rapid growth of the nation’s economy.

“While the GSM sub-sector has grown rapidly over the last eight years, fixed line telephony has remained largely undeveloped. We have no doubt that Glo is now positioned to lift the fixed line sub-sector,” he asserted.

Equally speaking, he said that the launch of Glo Broad Access has proved that Globacom is a reliable partner in the achievement of the cardinal objective of President Umar Musa Yar’Adua administration’s 7-point agenda to comprehensively establish and revitalize infrastructure in prime sectors of the economy.

In his remarks, the Chairman, House Committee on Communications, Hon. Dave Salako, said the launch of Glo Broad Access is another giant stride and a milestone in the history of telecommunications in Nigeria, expressing the hope that Glo BroadAccess would fill the gap created by the absence of the Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL).

The chairman, Senate Committee on Communications, Senator Sylvester Anyanwu, told the audience at the launch that it’s a celebration of excellence, focus and perseverance.

Emphasizing that Glo has continued to provide reliable telecom services to urban and rural populations, thus members of the Senate are proud of the operator for extending its services to several West African countries.

“This launch is even more significant because the rate of fixed to mobile penetration in Nigeria has been very low. I cannot imagine how we survived with mobile phones in offices. With the introduction of Broad Access, Glo has brought fixed line telephony back to glory,” he said.

Invariably, most Nigerians who commented on the coming of BroadAccess, were excited over the announcement, but said that they are interested in acquiring such service as long as it is affordable.

The launch of Glo BroadAccess, is generally seen as filling the void created by the inability of the first national operator, NITEL, to live up to expectations, even after achieving about 500,000 lines nationwide.

This brings to mind the statement accredited to the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, recently in Lagos, where he was quoted as attributing lack of fixed lines to the surge witnessed with the GSM.

The ball is now in the court of Globacom to roll-out its BroadAccess to as many as possible, because there is an existing market with open arms waiting for an embrace.


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4 comments:

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Gprofessionals said...

This is a great revolution for the citizens there. Regarding prices, i would say, whenever some new technology launch them they are bit costly. Later things always get affordable and with competition around it get cheaper too.
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