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Reltel edge! ‘Our dual SIM innovation is Nigeria’s phone cutting edge’

Posted by By IKENNA EMEWU (ikeroyal@yahoo.co.uk) on 2008/03/08 | Views: 903 |

Reltel edge! ‘Our dual SIM innovation is Nigeria’s phone cutting edge’


Years back when Reltel, (Reliance Telecommuni-cation Company Limited) one of the first wholly indigenous telephony firms came on board, the field was not too level and incentives not so available.

• Gets extra 1m lines

Years back when Reltel, (Reliance Telecommuni-cation Company Limited) one of the first wholly indigenous telephony firms came on board, the field was not too level and incentives not so available.

The company, like others of its generation with a CDMA-based technology yearned for NCC’s intervention to introduce Unified Licence regime.

At last it happened and Reltel got some incentives that have propelled the firm forward. First was the addition of one million lines of the 07023 class its wave treshhold by the NCC. The addition has been a great plus to Reltel, and moreover, the unification has aided Reltel to integrate both its traditional CDMA and the GSM systems for a better service, and instead of remaining fixated to only the places it can install its physical infrastructure, it has the liberty to roam.

The roaming has enabled Reltel to extend its operations to at least 50 cities, including those where it has no physical structure for transmission. Now the biggest edge Reltel got from the integration deal is the dual SIM handset it has rolled out that would enable a consumer use another GSM line in the same handset in addition to the inbuilt Reltel line. A step ahead you would say. And that is also how the company’s chief executive or Executive Vice Chairman, Mr. Kenneth Aigbinode sees it.

In addition to the innovations of Reltel to make telephony a thing of delight in Nigeria, Aigbinode also noted that the effort of Reltel to drive phone tariffs downward has achieved results, which the company is proud to announce as its mark of responsibility to the consumer.

Roaming freely
If you have a 01 area code you could not for instance move your phone to a 084 jurisdiction and have the same phone work there. So, we had that restriction for five years. That was lifted when the NCC introduced the unified licensing and also adopted a technology neutral stance.
Since the introduction of unified licensing, which has allowed CDMA operators to roam their services across the country on one network thereby becoming fully mobile and also render services on a new range of numbers, we have increased our interest in the investment sector.
We are beginning to make the impact we should have made a long time ago.
This is because we are looking at two dominant technologies that work everywhere else and compete with each other at par. CDMA is the dominant technology in North America and parts of Asia. GSM is the technology of choice in Europe and most of Africa, but both technologies are making in-roads into other technologies are making in-roads into other regions where they did not currently dominate.

Got the bearing at last
Accordingly, I’m quite pleased that we finally have an even playing field in Nigeria that allows us to complete at par with GSM operators. The competition has been energetic given the resources of GSM players and the advantages they enjoyed prior to the introduction of the Unified Licence by NCC in 2006.
In 2007, we acquired our Unified Licence, obtained our national spectrum, assigned the new number range 0702-3. We got a million of that. In other words, we have the capacity to create a million new lines under the 0702 series.
We have to expand our network from about four to five cities in 2006 to about 17 cities and towns in 2007. Because of the power of transmission, we are ringing in more than 50 different towns and cities that are also nearby, particularly in the eastern part of the country. To the extent that we were the network of choice if you were in the eastern Nigeria during the end of the last year during the Christmas and New Year celebrations you would certainly agree that we have taken a giant leap ahead. This is because we completely dominated that region.

Have what it takes
We have the right technology (CDMA), we have the right licences, the right people and our customers have been satisfied so far. I think we have not seen anything when it comes to the potentials of Reltel to meet the demands of the subscribers as well as return value for money as we have always done.
And that is why we have remained the company to beat in his area. I am not saying it’s not possible for others to match us, but it requires a lot more investment in the alternative technology to match the speed that we currently render. But I said, we are not resting on our oars. We are investing further in some advanced versions of the CDMA, which is the EVDO to give our subscribers even better experiences on our network.
We have also had favourable mention at different fora and our many awards over the years attest to the fact that people like our quality.

Your dual SIM advantage
Unfortunately, depending on the size of your handset, it creates a huge inconvenience for one to have to carry two, three handsets. That is why we introduced a handset that has the ability to take two different technologies. Technically, we call it the dual-tech phones.
It is nothing like other phones that have been marketed. Other phones that had dual technology do not provide you the convenience of flexibility of receiving calls simultaneously on the networks on the phones. So, this is the difference that we bring. The phone we have introduced which we call the Reltel phone has a provision for a Reltel SIM (I used SIM because that’s what people understand), but the technical word for our SIM is RUIM. We would be selling our RUIM which goes into that phone and you have an extra slot for your GSM SIM. That way, you can carry your CDMA SIM, around as well as GSM SIM in one handset.
We are bringing in these phones at subsidized rates to create this convenience for our subscribers. So, the default CDMA network on that phone will be Reltel and then the GSM option will also be provided depending on the subscriber’s preferred GSM network. You’ll agree with me that this is an innovation and I enjoin everybody to embrace and grab this phone.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.