By Emma Okonji
NatCom Development and Investment Limited trading as ‘ntel’, the company that acquired the core assets of NiTel/MTel, made its first Voice over Long Term Evolution (VoLTE) technology call in Lagos yesterday.

According to ntel, the VoLTE test call was made at 3.30p.m. at ntel’s new Tier III data centre located on the Lagos Island. VoLTE calls are enabled over a carrier’s high-speed data network instead of on a voice network. Voice over LTE calls also connect faster upon dialling and feature ultra-clear high-definition voice quality.

The VoLTE call was completed in partnership with Original Equipment Manufacturers L M Ericsson of Sweden and Sony Electronics of Japan.
This follows ntel’s first data call on 18 January, 2016 and its first SIP voice call on February 18, 2016. ntel will now progress work with Nigeria’s other mobile operators and international partners to perform cross-network VoLTE calls.

This would ensure that ntel’s customers can connect with each other as easily as they can to both customers in Nigeria and to those elsewhere in the world.

The crystal-clear, high-definition VoLTE call was made via an ntel sim card and is set to be a significant differentiating factor for ntel as it progresses with the roll-out of Nigeria’s largest Advanced 4G/LTE network, due to be launched shortly.

The Chief Executive Officer of ntel, Mr. Kamar Abass, who was excited about the successful VoLTE call, confirmed that the key network elements were now in place to support the full commercial launch of premium integrated voice, video and data services over 4G/LTE.

He added “the ntel network is built on the 900/1800 Mhz which are the most efficient propagation frequencies for the deployment of 4G/LTE technology.”

NatCom Chairman, Tunde Ayeni, had told the House of Representatives Communications Committee that ntel was committed to investing over $1 billion to support roll out of commercial services, starting in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.
He also noted that ntel would generate employment for over 4,000 Nigerians over the next five years.

According to him, the test call is a further demonstration that ntel is fully committed to building on the acquired assets of NiTel/MTel to provide world class super-fast broadband services to support the federal government’s 2013 national broadband plan.
“Ntel will commence full commercial operations, in its key launch states shortly,” Ayeni said.