Globacom, Huawei seal $750 million telecoms infrastructure upgrade deal
LAGOS: Another $750 million (N119 billion) telecommunications infrastructure upgrade and expansion deal has been sealed between Nigeria’s Globacom and Chinese telecoms infrastructure provider—Huawei.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed by the two companies in Lagos, Thursday, will see Huawei provide upgrades among others, to all telecommunications infrastructure belonging to Globacom in Nigeria.
This is coming two-days after another telecommunications service provider sealed a N470 billion loan syndication agreement with some banks, to also upgrade and expand its telecoms infrastructure in the country.
Industry analysts believe that the various investments would bolster Nigeria’s $25 billion telecommunications sector.
Indeed, at the MoU signing ceremony of the N119 billion, Globacom’s Chief Operating Officer, Muhammed Jameel, said the new deal will enable the telecommunications firm embark on a holistic overhaul of its network with a view to providing better services to its over 25 million telecoms subscribers across the country.
Jameel, said for the past two months, Globacom had been shopping for a vendor to help in modernizing its network, saying that Huawei has been found to be a preferred vendor for the contract.
“In preparation for our 10th year anniversary in Nigeria, we have decided to concentrate on upgrading our network with the latest technology, which can provide a bullish network that can provide better services to our customers.”
Describing the contract detail, the Globacom’s COO explained that the contract would see Huawei upgrade every element of the network, ranging from Base Transceiver Stations (BTS), Mobile Switching Centers (MSC), and transmission infrastructures among others.
He stressed that there would be total modernisation, which will enable the network to provide world-class services to its growing subscribers.
“In the contract, new BTS, new microwave radio facilities, MSC will be upgraded to a latest one. It will also include back-hauling of the total network with a view to delivering a total network with most modern equipment”, he stated.
According to him, by the end 2013, “We would have had everything upgraded to latest technology. We are upgrading the transport network from 10gigabytes to 100 gigabytes. This will enable more data services.”
Jameel, who disclosed that Huawei is expected to complete the various facilities upgrade within six months, assured subscribers on the network that there would not be service disruptions within the period.
He described Huawei as a competent and respectable telecoms infrastructures provider capable of delivering the contract assignment.
“The $750 million contract will translate into upgrading of all the network elements and covers the cost from the time the project will start till the time it will be comissioned,” he said.
In his comments, the Vice President, Huawei West Africa, David Fan, said: “We find it a great honour to sign the contract. The two companies are similar. Glo is from Nigeria, which is an emerging market in Africa while Huwaei is also from an emerging market in China.
“We are, therefore, pleased to receive the contract and by the time we finish the network upgrading, we would have also made Globacom network ready for Long Term Evolution technology network. All they need to do is to obtain the licence to provide services on the 4G network.”
Meanwhile, the Director, Legal, Globacom, Mrs. Gladys Talabi, reiterated that the intention behind “all of this contract is to provide our subscribers with unlimited possibilities.”
According to her, network modernization is a continuous process, which would see Globacom increase capacities.