NATCOM makes first VoLTE test call; MTN, Globacom fined for MNP breaches

29 Feb 2016

NATCOM Consortium, the company that acquired moribund fixed line operator Nigerian Telecommunications (NITEL) and its mobile subsidiary M-Tel last year, has made its first voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) test call in Lagos, ahead of a planned commercial launch of its ntel-branded services in the near future. Local newspaper Business Day reports that the call was completed in partnership with Sweden’s Ericsson and Sony Electronics of Japan. NATCOM officially took over the core assets of NITEL/M-Tel from the government in April 2015, after it emerged as the highest bidder with an offer of USD252.25 million. The deal included 40MHz of 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum that was previously used for the provision of 2G GSM services. After securing interconnection with the market’s other telecoms operators, NATCOM plans a full commercial launch of 4G LTE services under the ntel brand ‘shortly’, starting in the main cities of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. 

In other news, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has fined MTN Nigeria and Globacom, the mobile market’s two largest operators, for breaching the ‘Mobile Number Portability (MNP) Business Rules and Regulations’. According to the regulator’s Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement Report, Globacom was issued with a penalty of NGN22 million (USD110,000) and MTN Nigeria NGN12 million for non-compliance with MNP regulations during the fourth quarter of 2015.