As Glo Subscribers Celebrate Data Revolution  

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Subscribers on the network of Globacom are in for excess data season as the telecoms operator begins an era of data revolution for its customers, writes Emma Okonji

Digital revolution, where devices will be communicating with each other and at the same time relating to humans, is gradually becoming a global trend, just as data has been tagged the currency for digital revolution. To this end, the Nigerian government is striving to make broadband ubiquitous and available at the cheapest rate to all Nigerians, knowing fully well that data rides faster on ubiquitous broadband availability.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the telecoms industry regulator is making concerted efforts to increase broadband penetration in line with the vision of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to make broadband available to all citizens, in order to have easy access to data and the internet.

In order to achieve the vision of data availability to all Nigerians, Globacom, penultimate week, unfolded its data revolution plan, designed to make data accessible at the lowest cost ever to all Nigerians.

The Glo Data Revolution 

The recent launch of the Glo Data Revolution was done alongside the unveiling of an exclusive partnership with iflix, the world’s leading entertainment services for emerging markets, which gives the teeming subscribers of the telecoms firm, 60 days of unlimited access to the world’s best television programmes, series, movies, cartoons and more on their devices.

Speaking at the launch of the super-size offer  in Lagos, Globacom’s Regional Director, Planning and Technical, Mr. Sanjib Roy said the new offer would give both new and existing subscribers who renew their subscriptions before expiration up to 4GB of data for just N1,000. This 4GB data, for example, translates to about 4,000 pages of web browsing.

In the same vein, the 12.5GB is given for a N2,500 data bundle. This, for instance, could be used for 250 hours of content broadcast. Just as subscribers stand to gain 24GB for N4,000 and a massive 30GB for N5,000, the 30GB for N5,000 can enable the subscriber to enjoy videos for over 600 hours.

The Globacom top official added that for small plans, new subscribers and those who renew with N100 subscription will have a 90MB bundle; while for N200, they will get 250MB with which they can send 400 emails across board.  For N500, the customer gets a whopping 2GB of data, which the subscribers can use to do 10 days of unlimited chatting, if need be, Roy explained.

According to him, the new bundle offers are unprecedented and the biggest thing in Nigeria’s telecom history, adding that “never has the subscriber to any network in Nigeria had it so big and so good.

How to connect with the revolution 

Addressing Nigerians on how to be part of the Glo Data Revolution, Roy said: “All that the subscriber need to do is to get on the Glo data network and stay on by continuing to renew your subscription to enjoy the benefits that give you the unfair advantage over other data users.”

Explaining the  Glo-iflix partnership, which is available on the Glo Café platform, Roy said beyond giving subscribers of the telecoms company 60 days of unlimited access to the world’s best television programmes, series, movies, cartoons and more on their devices, after the 60 days,  Glo subscribers will get access at a specially discounted price of N100 per month only.  Subscribers need to send “Buzz” to 105 to access the iflix service.

iflix, he reiterated, offers subscribers the most extensive selection of iconic, critically-acclaimed TV series and fan-favourite films both internationally and locally available in the region, including hit titles such as The Big Bang Theory, Suits, The flash, Arrow, Hercules, Mission Impossible,  as well as highly anticipated Bollywood hits ABCD, Chennai Express, Phantom, and PK. On the local front, iflix offers such Nollywood titles as Head Gone, Jenifa’s Diary, The visit, Bukas and Joints and much more.

In addition to the above, the company also offers to subscribers who recharge up to N500 and above free YouTube streaming from 1am to 5.30am.  Youtube is a popular video-sharing site that allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to favorites, report, comment on videos. All the subscriber needs to do is to dial *777# to buy a data plan to activate the services.

3G and the era of data explosion 

The era of 3G communication saw the explosion of data-based telecommunication and mobile internet services in Nigeria. The era brought Nigeria into the league of online nations where business and social communication were done on-the-go, courtesy of the introduction of per second billing system in the telecoms sector by Globacom.

In 2003, Globacom came into the market with the mantra of innovation operating with the 2.5G GPRS network, when other telecoms operators that rolled out telecoms services before Globacom, were running on the legacy 2G infrastructure. The 2.5G enabled Glo Mobile to offer superior quality of voice calls as well as Value Added Services (VAS).

With this, Globacom was able to provide value added services  like M-banking, text2email, Magic Plus, Multimedia Messaging Service, vehicle tracking  among other revolutionary services that others could not offer.

The Globacom network, however, continued to blaze the trail and went on to launch the 3G network, and other operators followed suit, which marked the era of data explosion in Nigeria, even though in a small scale at that time.

However, subscribers had the challenge of high cost of data, occasioned by the limited broadband access. While the bandwidth was available, customers often could not afford the cost of many online services, as a result of high cost of bandwidth and data bundles.

At that time, not many data customers could afford to buy up to 1 Gigabyte of data bundle. Many depended on shared data services as well as on small plans that gave 100 or 200 Megabyte and at most 500 megabytes.

In the midst of the challenges, Globacom berthed its Glo-1 submarine cable in 2010 from Europe to the shores of Lagos, alongside with MainOne submarine cable and the MTN WACS cable, which berthed some years after. All the submarine cables were berthed at the country’s sea shores, and there was a challenge of a national backbone carrier to transmit the excess capacities of the several submarine cables from the shores of the county to the hinterland, where internet and broadband services were highly needed.

To address the challenges of high cost of data, occasioned by limited and high cost of internet bandwidth, Globacom moved to liberalise access to data, when it introduced the Bumper Data Offer on January 2016, which increased the value of its data, by giving subscribers 6GB data for the N3,000 data plan instead of 4.5GB, while a N4000 data plan was introduced with 9GB of data.

In May  2016, Globacom came out with a-two pronged offer that gave free voice airtime to data subscribers.  One of the products, Talk Special, gives free data to voice subscribers, while Twin Bash gives free talk time to data subscribers.

As if that was not enough, Globacom, again, offered a mouth-watering, record-breaking data volumes for little sums in an aggressive pricing plan called Data Overload. In the new plan, subscribers to the network received up to double the data volume previously available on every plan.

To top it all, Globacom, early this month, introduced the new season of excess data as the company once again blazed the trail by launching a new Glo Data Revolution, which confers on its subscribers, an unfair advantage with unmatched data packages, the biggest ever in the industry.

Subscribers’ comments 

Speaking on the Glo repackaged plan, an Abeokuta based school teacher, Mr. Ayodeji Akinjobi said the additional data offer has enabled him to download more materials on the internet to aid his task of imparting knowledge and make him better informed on a variety of issues.

Similarly, a 200 Level International Relations Student of Crawford University, Igbesa, Tobi Folorunsho, described the additional offer as cheering and economical.

On his part, Agbor- based Mr. Sunday Nwachukwu thanked Globacom for always crashing costs to support the generality of Nigerians.

Also, Olamide Ajao, a Law student of the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo town, Oyo State, eulogised Globacom for the promos which he said, were very student-friendly. “With the promos, you get more value for your data purchase. This is a good initiative because it is highly beneficial to students who use data for research and for keeping up with the social media,” Ajao said.

Given the Globacom Data Revolution that is creating cheap and easy access to data, subscribers have been placed in a world of their own, where everything downloadable is possible.