MTN Will Not Sack Visafone  Staff, Key To 4GLTE Rollout

There are fresh indications that a good number of staff of Visafone, the leading Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) mobile technology operator may not be sacked afte all. This is because, they will be re-trained to have the requisite skills for roll out of the new 4G LTE (Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution) technology in the country.
Visafone, which was acquired by telecommunication giants, MTN Nigeria, is expected to provide the GSM giant the robust voice and data platform of Visafone and cater for booming internet population of Nigeria.  It was gathered that staff of Visafone are likely to commence the retraining immediately ahead of the launch of the new data service.
The aggressive launch of 4G LTE services by the merged entity of MTN and Visafone is also expected to drive the broadband penetration in the country from under 10 per cent now to the targeted 30 per cent by 2018 as per the national broadband plan of the Federal Government and help meet the national broadband plan targets.
The 4G LTE technology is particularly good for the country and economy because it will create a conducive platform for enhanced product/service innovation which will ultimately lead to the creation of even new jobs. This is perhaps the most seamless and successful acquisition in Nigerian telecommunication industry.
Market watchers have commended the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and have said it be encouraged for supporting this initiative, which is widely applauded as a major telecom industry landmark deal. MTN is now expected to massively and aggressively leverage the CDMA pedigree of Visafone to roll out premium products that portends very good business opportunity for the carrier and Nigerians.
This is expected to ensure a high quality data services and improve mobile broadband experience for subscribers of Visafone and MTN. The acquisition is expected to provide the much-needed relief to the booming Internet economy by making available quality mobile broadband services adopting the state of the art 4G LTE technologies during the year.
MTN Executive, Amina Oyagbola, corporate services executive, MTN Nigeria said the acquisition which seeks to leverage resources for service enhancement is also reflective of MTN’s concerted efforts to deepen the growth and roll out of broadband services across the country in support of the National Broadband Plan for the benefit of Nigerians.
Oyagbola said “We are committed to exploring avenues for meeting our customers’ increasing data needs in line with our vision ‘to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers’. As we work to maximize our data capabilities towards achieving broadband of international quality, our objective is to ensure that Nigerians experience a boost in the quality of broadband internet services translating to the much needed enhanced data speeds and value to enhance personal and business productivity.”
Speaking further, she said, “The acquisition of Visafone highlights MTN’s commitment to Nigeria. More capacity will facilitate enhanced product/service offerings and experience in the data space to the delight of our valued customers. Voice is still King. However, data is becoming increasingly important in our everyday lives and our energies are focused on enhancing data and internet services to the benefit of our customers and the country at large.”
It was reported that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) granted the final regulatory approval to the acquisition of Visafone by MTN Nigeria. The deal which was sanctioned in late December 2015 allows MTN Nigeria to utilise Visafone’s 800MHz spectrum to launch fourth generation long term evolution (4GLTE) services.          
Visafone is the leading CDMA/ICT companies in Nigeria offering a number of services including voice, high speed data (3G), internet and other Value Added Services (VAS). Visafone also provides business solutions to small and medium sized companies and corporate organisations in Nigeria. 
With about 150 million mobile subscribers and about 97 million Internet users Nigeria ranks among the fastest growing countries in terms of mobile subscribers and Internet penetration. However, vast majority of the 97 million Internet users today are experiencing narrow band Internet at 2G/3G speeds.
At present majority of data users use 2G/3G technologies and it is estimated that LTE users will constitute 80 per cent of all data users by 2019. Availability of 4G LTE mobile broadband services on a national scale starting 2016 is expected to act as a catalyst to many sectors of the economy like the booming e-Commerce, banking insurance and financial services, software and IT enabled services etc., and is likely to trigger widening of the revenue base of the federal government into non-oil sectors.
An industry analyst said the market consolidation by the acquisition of the CDMA operator Visafone by GSM operator MTN is the first in the history of telecom industry in Nigeria and is commendable in the larger interest of the country and the economy.

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