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MTN begins test calls on 3G platform

Third Generation (3G) telecommunication operator in Nigeria, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, has announced the commencement of trial calls on its 3G Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) platform.

The trials that took off on Monday, according to MTN's Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Karl Toriola, were successfully made with 'voice and video' testing.

Toriola confirmed that the testing of its 3G network has commenced across three major cities in Nigeria, namely Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, stressing that the telco is working tirelessly to complete the ring and on time as scheduled.

MTN's speedy roll out of the 3G has been boosted by its existing 3,500km fibre optic network - which is said to be the longest private superhighway in Africa.

In addition, he said, MTN understands the importance of the 3G telephony, hence, "We're deploying facilities at a very fast pace as we're certain that most customers on the MTN network are eager to switch on their phones to enjoy voice and video calls made."

Toriola also noted that those who have 3G-enabled mobile phones, would be able to access Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and 3G networks as soon as they subscribe for 3G services.

He said the key value of 3G telephony is the ability to transport high-speed data over the wireless network with full mobility.

"The high speed mobility enables Internet browsing, TV, video calls and all forms of content and value added services, to be at the fingertips of customers," he said.

MTN Nigeria's chief executive, Ahmad Farroukh, said the deployment is the fulfillment of the company's promise to the people of Nigeria and particularly its subscribers.

"This is a huge milestone for MTN and indeed for Nigeria," Farroukh said, stressing that numerous enquiries are already coming from all over the country on when MTN will roll out its 3G facilities.

"It is a mark of confidence in the company and its ability to consistently deliver value," Mr. Farroukh said.

He emphasized the commitment of the company to continuously live up to the needs of its customers and the country as a whole.

MTN was among the four telcos who paid $150 million for the 3G licence, recently awarded by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

In another development, Celtel Nigeria, one of the country's leading Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Third Generation (3G) operator in the country, has introduced GSM payphone known as Jembi Public Calling Office (PCO).

This is the first telecommunications company to introduce a GSM payphones for commercial rollout in the country, and expects to create over 60,000 jobs with this launch.

Meanwhile, the public relations manager of Celtel Nigeria, Mr. Emmanuel Otokhine, informed the media that Jembi is an exciting brand promise-inspired product that will help to leverage Celtel's 'Making Life Better' proposition to the Nigerian subscribers.

"It is another tangible experience of Celtel customer centric brand," he said.

Otokhine also explained that one of the major objectives of introducing the GSM payphone is to improve rural telephony across the country and give a boost to the economy.

Otokhine pointed out that Jembi is a complete business tool, offering the user several services including voice calls, Short Messaging Service (SMS) and Value Added Service (VAS) in either pre-paid or post-paid mode.

"It also has unique security features, flexible record keeping attributes, ability to connect with printers and scanners and a high capacity internal battery which provides over seven hours talk-time. The battery can be recharged easily," he said.

Otikhine further said that the Jembi payphone comes in a plastic frame body with built-in billing functionality, dual power mode which means it could work with a battery or electricity, durable keypad and display features, secured and simple to use with Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) and network lock features, among others.

Celtel also promises continuous training for all vendors on the use and benefits of the payphone product as well as plans to offer free repair services and after sales support.

Published courtesy of

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