Precisely Friday, August, 29th Globacom will be celebrating five years of its operation as a telecommunications company in the country.
Globacom, Nigeria’s Second National Operator launched its operations on August 29, 2003 two years after digital mobile telecommunication (GSM) was introduced into the country. However, with its entry into the Nigerian market with the elusion Pay by the Second Billing platform, the company has continued to dedicate the pace both in terms of services delivery, extent of coverage and innovations. It was founded, and indeed operates with the passion to re-ignite the African spirit. The network has proved, in just five years of operation, that the African can match the best anywhere in the world. Globacom is building a network that reflects the resilience, the energy, excellence and true nature of Africans; one that will make Nigerians proud and ultimately become the pride of the continent. Founded on a vision of being the largest and most successful had acquired over 17 million subscribers with coverage extending to over 50,000 cities, towns, and communities. These are records still unbroken in the history of telecommunication in Africa. It is perhaps its impact on people that resonates through out the industry. Globacom immediately forced down the cost of telephone services with the crashing of GSM tariffs and SIM costs making telephony more accessible. Nigerians have not yet forgotten how Glo gave them the golden opportunity to be charged either by the minute or by the second. Indeed, that over 30 million Nigerian students, artisans, and countryside dwellers can today use the telephone is hugely attributable to the Globacom revolution. Through its value added services, the company has brought to Africa more benefits of modern technological innovations. The handset has become a tool for empowerment, entertainment and connectivity to the worldwide web.
How fast time runs. How splendid, Globacom, the idea Otunba Mike Adenuga saw five years ago has helped Nigerian telecommunications operations in no little ways. He deserves kudos because if he were a politician, he may had ferried the idea to another country, just the same way we have read corrupt government officials fiery our money, their loot, into foreign countries, thereby resulting to the impoverishment of the citizenry.
It is believed that one thing that has brought smiles to the management of Globacom and its subscribers is the achievement that Globacom has made within five years in the telecommunications operations.
Like many entrepreneurial industries that suffer lose, Globacom has not entertained fear of such since its emergence in August 29, 2003. Rather, it is of the view of new things to be achieved, being optimistic that what it has achieved so far is the beginning of success, thereby emboldening the stoic spirit of its subscribers on high-ranked service.
In this regard as well as to prove that it is thoroughly an African network of choice that the company has started extending its operations to neighbouring African countries in line with its philosophy of bringing joy of communications required for them to rule their world as well as empower them with the tool of communications.
To this end, it has launched Global System for Mobile communications service in Republic of Benin and has won operating license in Ghana.
This feat has positioned Globacom as Africa network operator and not only Nigeria operator.
On the gateway business, Globacom declared that it is one of the largest carriers of voice traffic in Africa carrying over 3 billion international minutes annually. At the local scene, Glo is the gateway for most network operators in Nigeria and the surrounding African countries and has built strategic partnerships with 43 Tier One Carriers (35 TDM and 8 VoIP) with a total of 618 E1s. Telcos like AT&T, BT, France Telecom, Sprint use Glo to connect to their customers in Africa.
Just last week, Globacom said its 9,200 km international submarine cable, Glo 1, being configured from Portugal to Lagos, will berth in Lagos early next year.
Globacom said in a statement that the submarine cable would enhance quality of its services. It added that the cable, which had so far covered 4,500 km to Lagos, would pass through 15 countries.
According to Globacom, the submarine cable would enable Glo to provide quality service through multiple redundant and high quality direct links to various countries across the world. It would enable it to interconnect with many international networks and leading traffic carriers in the West African region.
According to the company, more countries have indicated interest in getting connected to Glo through the international submarine cable, and had already started exchanging communication with some of these countries on how they could latch on to the facility as soon as possible.
The company said that Glo 1, the first submarine cable in the world to be individually financed, was being built by Alcatel, a provider of cable.
Glo’s international roaming services involve 193 networks in 98 countries and provide services on voice, Short Message Service (SMS), General Package Radio Service (GPRS) roaming and BlackBerry services. It also provides bulk sale of bandwidth and offers access to 804 networks in 174 countries via International SMS.
With the success story of Globacom, within this short period, it has grown from an ordinary GSM company, to a giant company that its biography cannot contain in a 1000 page book. With total solution, Globacom is on the ebullient side to still empower its over 17 million subscribers as it rolls out its fixed services commercially in Abuja and Lagos. This would follow the completion of the fibre optic laying in most parts of the country.
Globacom has been ahead of completion in spite of the fact that it started behind its competitors, having acquired the Third Generation project license, otherwise called 3G, which is the advanced technology of the 2.5G technology; which is currently used by telecommunications operators in Nigeria. The company was among the first operators that demonstrated the technology explaining the capacity of its network to deliver 3G services to its teeming subscribers.
The duty of the 3G is to promote telecommunications service with capability for seamless transmission. It will as well receive high quality sound, data and picture messages by fixed and fast-moving subscribers.
Globacom’s growth in Nigeria has been phenomenal. Starting two years behind other operators in Nigeria, the network has become the fastest growing in Africa and the Middle East region and is the third fastest growing network in the world. In 2006, alone, Globacom added six million subscribers to its network.
Aside building a strong telecommunications network in Africa and Nigeria, Globacom has also exhibited that affinity with the society is the company’s second nature. It lives and breathes the people.
Although, it made business sense to launch into the market, never in the history of Nigeria has any organization displayed such deep sense of responsibility and commitment to the development of the Nigeria state. From its corporate persona through its business decisions to the huge deployment of resources; to the unbroken support for Nigeria and Nigeria’s interests, Globacom has come to represent the can-do Nigerian/African spirit.
Globacom as the foremost network in Nigeria adopted a strategic focus on people-resonant initiatives in education, health and the development of the Nigeria community. The network’s sponsorship of sports is predicated on the role of sports as a national unifier. With soccer, in particular, all the ugly characteristics of tribe favouritism and nepotism give way to unity and comradeship.
To support this national icon, Globacom has to date committed over N10 billion on football and other sports. For two consecutive years Nigerian league had no sponsors and the Nigerian Football Association, now Nigerian Football Federation was finding it difficult to organize the competition. It was in this state that Globacom gave the league the life line it required for survival. Glo signed a four year deal with the Nigerian Football league worth about N4 billion for the sponsorship of the Globacom Premier League.
Globacom recognizes that in a match, victory is not only won by the strength of the players but also by the cheers of their supporters. And to enhance the performance of Nigerian teams, the company has taken over the sponsorship of the Nigerian Supporters Club.
There has also been a major partnership between Globacom and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), towards eradication of poverty in the region. The programme, tagged Self Employment Business Support provides employment opportunities for youths in the region. The initiative is to empower Nigerians and help them become self reliant. This effort is complemented with another partnership with Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), to assist unemployed youths of the oil producing but impoverished Niger Delta region set up their own business.
Indeed, Globacom has with five years of operations achieved a lot in both its core business of building telecommunications capacity as well corporate social responsibility. As the telecommunications giant in Africa is trying to stamp its feet in world’s telecommunications landscape, Nigerians are wishing the company well and encouraging it not to relent in this effort.
FCT Lifts Suspension Order on Masts, Towers
Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has finally lifted the suspension order it earlier placed on telecoms masts and towers in Abuja metropolis.
The FCTA has therefore asked telecoms operators to commence fresh moves to regularise, update and settle all outstanding bills on their masts and towers to enable them resume installation of masts and towers in the territory.
Relieved of the burden of the suspension of telecoms masts installation in Abuja, Mr. Gbenga Adebayo, chairman of the Association of Licenced Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said that the suspension order would enable telecoms operators resume telecoms masts and other telecoms infrastructure rollout in Abuja, a situation, he said would address the issue of poor telecoms services in Abuja and its environ, having suffered from poor telecoms service delivery in the territory since the suspension order in February this year.
The FCT Administration had on February 3, 2020, placed a suspension order for the installation of telecoms masts and towers in the federal capital territory and communicated same to all telecoms operators through a letter.
In a recent letter dated September 25, 2020, written to all telecoms operators through their association, ALTON, the FCT Administration lifted the suspension order and asked telecoms operators to commence masts installation after seeking the necessary approvals.
Part of the letter with reference No: FCDA/ES/460/Vol.1, which was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, Olusade Adesola, read: “I wish to refer to our letter dated February 3, 2020, which conveyed the suspension of the grant of permits for the erection of telecoms masts/towers in the FCT and the series of correspondences by you dated April 30, July 14, and September 8, 2020, wherein you appealed for reconsideration of the directive to facilitate prompt resumption of the issuance of the build permit process.
“After carefully studying your concerns, the FCT Administration is delighted to convey the lifting of the suspension of the processing/grant of permits for telecoms masts and towers in the FCT, with effect from the date of this letter.”
Reacting to the letter, Adebayo said: “For some time now, telecoms operators in Abuja have not been able to provide adequate capacity to carry the load of Abuja subscribers because of the non-approval of the expansion of telecoms masts and towers by the FCT Administration.
The implication is that those who travelled into Abuja from other states and from other countries were not able to have uninterrupted telecoms services, which was a reputation issue for the country, because travelers will leave the country with the impression that telecoms services are poor in the country. But with the lifting of the suspension order, telecoms operators will be able to install more masts that will lead to better user experience of telecoms services in Abuja. The government agencies will also have better user experience and service delivery.”
“We are happy with the lifting of the suspension order for the telecoms masts and towers in Abuja, and we are glad that the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami, was able to resolve this for us. So we are ready to expand telecoms infrastructure in the FCT.”
FG Launches Digital Nigeria Portal, Mobile App
Dr Isa Pantami, minister of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) has unwrapped a Digital Nigeria Portal and Mobile Application in furtherance of the Digital Nigeria Programme.
The Digital Nigeria Programme was kick-started by President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 19, 2020.
At the virtual launch of the mobile application in Abuja, Pantami, said it was part of the government’s key initiatives aimed at empowering innovators and entrepreneurs with the requisite skills to thrive in an emerging digital economy.
He explained that the Digital Nigeria programme was a key component of the Digital Literacy and Skills Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria which was being championed by himself.
Pantami said the ministry was partnering with global institutions including the African Development Bank (AFDB) and Microsoft to enable Nigerians to acquire cutting edge digital skills within the comfort of their homes.
The Minister, however, reiterated the government’s resolve to promote skills over paper qualifications.
“We are championing a paradigm shift that lays emphasis on skills, in preference to merely having degrees without skills.
“Degrees are only meant to validate skills, this is a growing trend across the globe.
“The digital literacy and skills pillar recognises the fact that citizens are the greatest assets in any economy, including the digital economy.
“It will support the development of a large pool of digitally literate and digitally skilled citizens. The “Digital Nigeria” mobile app is available on play store and apple store, enabling Nigerians to enrol in ICT courses within the comfort of their homes,” he said.
Pantami said that much of the content was provided through AfDB’s partnership with Microsoft, adding that students can download certificates after completing the courses.
According to him, across the globe, there is a growing focus on the need for developing skills, rather than merely acquiring degrees.
“To this end, Nigerians are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity by enroling today at https://digitalnigeria.gov.ng; or https://academy.nitda.gov.ng/ accordingly.
“The portals will give details on how to register and how to download the relevant Mobile Apps.
“The Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is committed to developing the capacity of Nigerians to use technology to solve problems.
“We will keep updating the course offerings to reflect global trends. The Digital Nigeria Programme will provide a platform to empower Nigerians to develop relevant skills and build innovative solutions to address challenges within,” Pantami said.
Some of those present at the launch included Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), and Prof. Mohammed Abubakar, managing director of the Galaxy Backbone (GBB).
Digital Explorers Launch Paid Traineeship in Lithuania for Nigerian Female Data Analysts
Digital Explorers has launched applications for the second cohort of the program. This time, it is a female-only track that will select up to 15 female Data Analysts and Data Scientists at entry-level who will undergo up to 6 months paid traineeship in Lithuania. The program will consist of an intensive training and a placement at a Lithuanian company.
Digital Explorers launched in 2019, selecting 15 Nigerian ICT specialists, from a pool of 1,400 young talents. The first cohort of 15 digital explorers have spent a year in Lithuania, working, learning, and networking. They are now wrapping up their 1 – year career advancement journey and transitioning to full-time, more permanent employment.
For the next cohort, Digital Explorers is partnering with Data Science Nigeria to identify and select Data Analysts/Scientists for its 2020 Virtual Bootcamp (to commence on 20th October, 2020).
The objective of this cohort is to support women in tech and contribute to closing the global tech gender gap by offering tailored data analysis / data science traineeships to selected participants.
Interested Nigerian entry-level female data analysts/scientists are required to register for the DSN Hackathon through this link – bit.ly/AIBootcamp20_hack in order to make it into the Virtual Bootcamp.
This also gives an opportunity for Nigerian Companies with existing female entry level data scientists and analysts to encourage their staff to apply.
Participants will receive tailored training, international exposure and return after 6 months better equipped to contribute to the success of the organization. Application for the DSN Hackathon closes on October 3rd, 2020.
The training participants will receive will be tailored to meet market demands in Lithuania and Nigeria. At the end of the programme, participants will be further assisted in finding the right employment opportunities in Nigeria.
Nigerian companies interested in hiring data analysts and data scientists in the future can partner by registering here to recruit participants who successfully complete the programme on their return from Nigeria.
In his vision essay about this program, Kola Aina – Founder of Ventures Platform says this project is “about upskilling the next generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs and knowledge workers with global networks and connections.
“Our ‘Digital Explorers’ will be working side by side with amazing people on world class teams, building products and services for global clients, and spending a lot of time in structured learning and networking activities… Looked at from a certain perspective, the people who make it into the Digital Explorers programme are effectively being paid to learn and acquire world class skills.”
Speaking on the launch of the second track of the Digital Explorers program, Eugenija Kovaliova, Co-founder of AfriKo says, “Lithuanian ICT sector has been maturing significantly over the past decades and this has been recognized by many international tech companies, hiring Lithuanian specialists to work on complex projects.
“At Digital Explorers we want to open up an opportunity for Nigerian talents to work alongside Lithuania’s best and bring back acquired skills and knowledge for a stronger Nigerian digital landscape.”
Mimshach Obioha, the Executive Director at Ventures Platform Foundation, added, “The choice to focus on Data Analysts and Data Scientists is fueled by the growing global demand across different industries for jobs such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Specialists or Data Scientists.”
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