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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

eWorld to celebrate 10-yrs of GSM

Plans have been advanced for the hosting of stakeholders to the celebration of 10 years of Global System for Mobile communications by eWorld Magazine in Lagos.

Chief Executive Officer, eWorld, Mr. Aaron Ukodie said that the event scheduled to mark the achievements of the GSM operators and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in the past 10 years, has been scheduled for August 4, this year.

He said that highlights of the event will include a one-day Forum to parley on the theme: From Voice To Data, The Emerging Market Place.

“There will also be a publication to mark the milestone event. The publication will feature interviews and focus on the events that have shaped the past 10 years of GSM in Nigeria,” he said.

In addition, Ukodie said the publication will forecast the events that will shape the next 10 years of GSM development and contribution to the Nigerian economy.

Ukodie further said the platform will witness and document every step of developments in the sector from the beginning and having followed all the players and the developments closely and with keen interest.

He recalled that in early August, 2001, two companies, MTN and Econet (now Airtel) began GSM mobile services, after they received Digital Mobile Licenses (DMI) from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on February 9, 2001.

According to him, the award of licenses followed a successful handling of the DML auction process on January 19, the same year.

Ukodie said the following year NITEL’s mobile operating company MTel launched its own services. Communications Investment Limited (CIL) which had along with MTN and Econet been awarded a license could not join the two to begin services that same year. Its license was withdrawn following its inability to meet payment deadline.

However Owners of CIL which approached the NCC with another name Globacom was lucky to get a Second National Operator (SNO) license in 2003, when the offer was opened in 2002.

This allowed Globacom to launch GSM services on August 2003.

Since then the Nigerian landscape has witnessed a lot of communication innovations with subscriber lines now above 85 million. Though there are many who believe that Nigeria’s phone lines could reach over 100 million lines, some others are of the view that the market is moving from voice to data.

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