Telecoms leaders, Globacom, is determined to innovate and redefine its network for wider reach, optimum quality of service, greater data speed and larger capacity in 2019. Going by the current level of new investments in network infrastructure the company is set to take a greater share of the voice and data market in 2019, a new technical roadmap from the company has revealed. JOHN SILAS writes.
In the last ten months, about 26 cargo aircraft from around the world brought over 2,600 tons of network equipment into the country for the telecoms giant. “As a result, activation is looking up, traffic into the network is going up and consumption is up,” the Group Chief Technical Officer of Globacom, Sanjib Roy, told journalists on Friday in Lagos at a briefing session.
Giving details of the upgrade, Roy revealed, among other things, that new e-band radio technology has been deployed, resulting in increase in bandwidth from 400MB to 1.5 – 2GB, for the Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Rivers areas.
Also supplied and deployed are 1000 microwaves ordered to modernise the transmission network to IP. He said the upgrade in other parts of the country is ongoing. The Glo 1 submarine cable capacity has been upgraded to 300G all the way From Lagos to UK, giving huge bandwidth for mobile and Enterprise business. In order to further firm up network uptime and provide seamless connection at all times, the company had further deployed more than 2000 new generators and 6000 new batteries while site distribution of fuelling contractors has been streamlined, thereby removing all obstacles to BTS site operations. This has led to better availability of the network.
Meanwhile work is on-going on more than 1000km of fibre route where road construction had affected the fibre cabling. To further deepen data network quality for subscribers, deployment of high wattage Radio Remote Units (RRU) for 3G services and multi-sector antenna has been concluded for better 3G indoor coverage, high speed data download, signal quality and network coverage. For improved backhaul, Globacom is further upgrading the capacity of existing microwave links, converting TDM links to IP for 2G and 3G, and is deploying high capacity microwave back up links to increase data back haul capacity and protect traffic against fibre cut.
Despite these improvements, Globacom says it is not slowing down on investments as it has ordered 750- 3G multi-sectors and 700 high capacity CE boards to further boost data speed around high traffic areas. Network quality is to be further boosted with another order for 1710 Base Station Equipment and 2200 high capacity Node B. The Node B provides the connection between mobile phones and the wider telephone network. These will help boost the network in key population areas. Globacom’s investment roadmap shows that in 2019, Globacom is planning for a bigger and better future. “We are using a scientific and methodical way of rolling out new sites based on feedback from the regions on where the sites are needed to address customer complaints”, he stated. In the 2019 roadmap, more than 400 sites are to be rolled out based on field feedback while roll out of LTE in 1800mhz band in major cities is to be intensified to allow higher handset adoption for the lower rung of the market.
Also, new enterprise products to cater to the needs of SMEs and to create the digital environment for business growth in rural areas, is also in the works. Globacom revealed that its second submarine cable, Glo2, will be rolled out this year to give fillip to overall socio-economic development of the delta regions and also provide the much needed bandwidth for local ICT businesses to flourish.
The facility will also provide back up for the terrestrial fibre route from Port Harcourt to Lagos. Other new initiatives planned for this year include conceptual launch for 5G in 700mhz band for Internet of Things application, introduction of new data analytics tools to capture subscriber experience in real time.