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UGO AMADI, Editor ,Champion Newspapers
As Nigeria Telcom giant and Foremost digital services company, Globacom celebrates today , having clocked 19 years which is associated with the energy of expansion and a new start. The company has continued to record unprecedented growth and dominance since its establishment despite the challenges the sector has faced in harsh operating environment.
There are various milestones that have defined Globacom’s disruptive entrance, impressive growth and supremacy in the telecom sector irrespective of the fact that it started operation few years after the other GSM companies.
Daily Champion ponders and captures the growth and rise of an outstanding indigenous company in the telecoms sector in Nigeria who has continued to drive transformational innovation and digitalization in the telecommunications space
Even so, it has also restated its commitment to continuous delivery of innovative products and services and unequalled benefits to its subscribers and business partners all over Africa.
As the first Nigerian multinational telecommunications company with good standing and most respected grandmaster of data, Glo was established on 29 August 2003 by Mike Adenuga, a man of vast fortune, Forbes latest ranking indicated that Adenuga grew his wealth from $6.1 billion last year to $7.3 billion this year and remains Nigeria’s second richest man, sixth richest person in Africa, number 324 in the Billionaires 2022 list in the world and built his fortune in telecom and oil production.
Interestingly, Globacom, is the second largest telecommunications operator in Nigeria, with about 55 million GSM subscribers and 39.3million internet subscribers. Glo is a household name and subscribers continue to express joy with the performances of the company in the last 19 years of its existence. Its leadership, according to industry analysts, may not be unconnected with its reputation as the network with the widest 4G LTE coverage in the country and its consistent improvement in data services.
Born to make telephony and allied services accessible and affordable to every African across all levels of society, Glo from inception espoused such fundamental values such as providing world class cutting edge, up-to-the-minute technology; best value for money; never-say-die spirit and its pride in the Nigeria heritage.
Indeed, Globacom has continued to live up to its corporate vision of building Africa’s biggest and best telecommunications network . This is a however a tall dream for a company that started 19 years ago and aiming towards surpassing its goal by continuously innovative and being one of the best telecommunications services providers in Nigeria.
The company gained its reputation of being a pace setter by being continuously innovative in Nigeria/Africa telecommunications industry and has been able to distinguished itself from other mobile phone service operators by being the first to introduce new products and services to its customers.
Glo is indeed a household name as subscribers expressed happiness with the performances of the company in the last 19 years of its existence.it added over two million new subscribers in the third quarter of 2021. This was indicated in a new report on the performance of telecoms operators published on the website of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
It will interest you to know that Internet user penetration in Nigeria saw a slight increase between the years 2018 and 2022, going from around 26 percent to over 38 percent. As of 2022, the estimated number of internet users in the country was more than 108 million. Moreover, the share of the Nigerian population using the internet is expected to grow to 60 percent approximately by 2027.
Between January and October 2020, the number of Globacom internet subscribers in Nigeria experienced an increase of almost 10 million users, according to data published by the Nigerian company. As of October 1, 2020 the mobile telecommunication operator counted about 39 million internet subscribers
In 2011, GLO became the first telecommunication company to build an $800 million high-capacity fibre-optic cable known as Glo-1, a submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. It is the first successful submarine cable from the United Kingdom to Nigeria.
Also , Globacom was the first network in Nigeria to roll out the 4G LTE service in October, 2016, and also the first to launch a nationwide 4G LTE network, offering instant efficient broadband internet to millions of Nigerians at speeds that are several times faster than the 3G network.
Globacom has also contributed to boosting international connectivity in Nigeria by building and launching an international submarine cable, Glo 1. It was the first time a single company would implement such a massive undersea project in Africa. In addition to boosting the provision of services to telecom end users, the facility is currently providing the much needed connectivity to critical sectors of the economy, such as oil and gas, manufacturing, banking, commerce, education and health, among others. Glo Gateway, Globacom’s international wholesale Voice and Data Exchange and Trading Business Unit, is a leading provider of telephone hubbing services for the rest of the world.
Glo was the first company to launch operations on Per Second Billing. It pioneered the billing system in Nigeria in 2003, even when older networks said it was impossible, thereby empowering millions of Nigerians. Courtesy of Glo, telephone users in Nigeria now pay just for actual time spent on the phone.
Globacom also disrupted the industry by crashing the price of SIM cards thus making telephone accessible to millions of Nigerians. Before Globacom launched its services, GSM SIMs were selling for between N20,000 and N25,000. Glo brought this down to N6,999 and later to N100. It recorded another milestone as the first network in Nigeria to launch the 2.5G GPRS technology thus enabling multimedia convergence. This made it possible for subscribers to share pictures, audio and video for the first time in Nigeria.
However, Committed to uplifting and empowering the greatest number of Nigerians, Globacom made sure subscribers no longer paid N50 per minute for calls. Glo crashed the tariff to as low as 1kobo per second. Globacom also pioneered Blackberry services which supports push button e-mail, mobile telephone, text messaging, web browsing and other wireless information services.
Innovative and disruptive, Globacom pioneered a lot of innovations in the Nigerian telecommunication sector that included Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) and International MMS; pioneered Mobile Banking; first to launch Mobile internet service; pioneered Vehicle tracking; first to Launch Prepaid Roaming and first to launch In-Flight Roaming.With the launch of Globacom’s MoneyMaster PSB, the company has become the 3rd telecom company to throw its hat in the Payment Service Bank ring underlining its commitment to deepening financial inclusion in Nigeria
Proudly Nigerian and distinctly pro-people, Glo was first to extend Free Access lines to Government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).Glo was the first operator to launch 3G Plus services which in addition to giving customers high- speed mobile internet access, allowed them to do video calls and video streaming on their 3G mobile handset. It also offers other advanced mobile services such as Video Greeting Kiosk, Video Mail Box, Video conferencing on both Phones and PCs and so many other services Glo is a committed supporter of poverty reduction initiatives of government. This has been exemplified through partnerships with various state governments, NDDC and NAPEP to provide call-centre packages for unemployed youths.
In 19 years of operation in the country , the Glo has emerged the biggest promoter of African football. For many years, it sponsored the Premier League, the Super Eagles and the NFF as well as other national teams, the Supporters Club, Glo CAF Awards and Glo Soccer Academy among others. With a well-defined brand strategy of supporting cultural festivals and initiatives, Glo has emerged the biggest corporate supporter of Nigerian arts and culture with its sponsorship of the Ojude Oba, Lisabi, Ofala festivals, amongst others. Globacom launched its fixed line services in pursuit of its goal to become a one-stop telecommunications solutions provider with services extending to the last mile.
Captivatingly, Glo is the biggest supporter of Nigeria’s entertainment industry, Glo was the first telecom company to use Nollywood stars as brand ambassadors, thus re-inventing and rehabilitating aging stars of stage and screen. The company has also emerged a strong supporter of Nigerian music, comedy and acting. On the other hand, Glo Entertainment Portal offers a single point of access for millions of digital entertainment content through Glo Café offering over two million local and foreign songs; over 12,000 Hollywood, Nollywood, Bollywood movies on Glo movie Café; Access to more than 10,000 games from top gaming developers across the globe; Music, comedy, sports and short videos from top music channels and more than 62 live channels on Glo Mobile TV.
Glo sponsorship of literature has set the pace for other telecom companies. Its support of the Wole Soyinka prize was globally applauded while its “Evening With WS” events remain the gold standard.
Globacom is playing a leading role in the country’s march to a digital future with a range of customized and community-driven voice and data connectivity offerings as well as verticalized IT solutions such as E-Health, Smart Cognitive Learning, Smart Energy, Industrial IoT and Cloud Applications. With empowerment encoded in its corporate DNA, Globacom continues to initiate and implement people-oriented programmes and promotions that impact Nigerians allowing them to unleash their potentials and become unlimited.
However, the Group Chief Operating Officer of Globacom, Mohamed Jameel, has reconfirmed the spread of its 4G LTE service in all the 36 states of Nigeria and in over 200 tertiary institutions where students have been empowered with the fastest and most affordable data services.
Jameel explained that the 700MHz band which Glo 4G is operating on affords it better coverage and penetration, adding that “the radio propagation property of the 700MHz band enables Globacom 4G signal to travel the farthest, giving the largest coverage for any site. In effect, any city where Glo LTE is present, it covers the widest area than any other network”.
He noted that Glo 4G LTE is backed by the company’s international submarine cable, Glo 1, which has provided the much needed internet bandwidth for West Africa sub-region.
One of the key products, Glo Health Care is a digital health assistant designed to offer Nigerians access to 300 specialised best doctors in the world directly on their phone; Access to information on common health challenges & health advice on public health: enable entire info available in audio translation in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba; Tracking of key health parameters (BP, Sugar etc); and allows booking of appointment by video consulting on the smartphone. Glo Drive addresses problems subscribers face with storing their data by offering limitless storage capacity in the cloud. It allows subscribers import from their Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Dropbox or Gmail account instantly; share family memories and experiences, share digital content on social networks without the need to use credit or debit card to enhance storage.
For the Glo TITI, an Artificial Intelligence (AI) platform, it will engage customers directly and assist them to get information about data plans, prepaid plans and Value Added Service (VAS). This enables customers to choose the most convenient plan, resolve issues and ask questions 24/7 without any human interface.
Glo Connect helps subscribers stay connected all the time even if the phone is switched off, has zero balance, or is out of coverage area. The next solution is the World Connect, which ensures that business executives stay connected to their offices anywhere in the world by offering them the most affordable roaming data in 60 countries with over 6.4 million wifi hotspots worldwide. The infrastructure will be available in all world airports.
Large Scale Telecom Infrastructure
As part of efforts to ensure that Nigerians have telecom quality of experience (QoE), Glo said it is investing billions of naira in modernising its network for the future 4G and 5G services. The capacity of Glo 1, its submarine cable, has been upgraded to 300G, giving huge bandwidth for mobile and Enterprise business.
Group chief technical director, Globacom, Sanjib Roy in his presentation said, “a new e-band microwave radio technology has been deployed, resulting in increase in backhaul bandwidth to 1.5 – 2gb per link. More than 1,800 BTS and equal number of NodeBs have been swapped in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Rivers states.
“Also, supplied and deployed are 1,000 microwaves to modernise the transmission network to IP. All these have been possible because of quick supply and effective deployment. We have also deployed more than 2,000 new generators and 6,000 new batteries to boost customer experience”, he stated, adding that work was on-going on more than 1000km of fibre routes where road construction had affected fibre cabling.
As a telecom leader, Globacom, has again taken a major step to transform the ICT landscape in Nigeria with the construction of a multi-billion naira optic fibre submarine cable.The plan for the project, called Glo 2, was unveiled at a contract-signing ceremony between the national operator, Globacom, and global telecom solutions vendors, Huawei.
Giving details of the project Mr Sanjib Roy, said the submarine cable would be built along the Nigerian coast from Alpha Beach in Lagos, where Glo 1 landing station is located, to the Southern part of Nigeria. The facility will enable ultra high capacity connection to South-South Region and provide capacity to offshore oil platforms and the communities.
He stated that the Glo 2 project would boost telecommunication service delivery in the country by providing economic as well as social empowerment of the communities in oil producing regions. It will also provide high speed internet connectivity as well as digitalize oil platforms to improve productivity, upload data to remote oil platforms at the speed of light.
“Glo2 will be the first submarine cable in Nigeria to land outside Lagos as the five existing submarine cables only landed in Lagos. Glo 2 will have capacity of 12Terabit per second and will provide ultra-high speed connection to oil platforms and communities to empower data coverage and support Enterprise market growth in this part of Nigeria,” Mr Roy explained.
He also disclosed that the cable would contain three fiber pairs, with the first pair connecting Lagos directly to Southern part of Nigeria with terrestrial extension to other parts of the country for redundancy and maintenance purposes. The second will be equipped with eight switchable Branching Units (BUs) which will deliver high capacity to offshore oil stations and communities connected directly to BUs, while the third pair will be equipped with two (2) switchable Branching Units to deliver high capacity to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea.
Mr Li Beifang, Managing Director of Huawei Nigeria, said that Huawei is “proud to partner with Globacom to build a revolutionary submarine cable using innovative and leading technology. We believe the cable would bring a new era of digitalization to the Nigerian economy”.
A New Communication Direction
It also emphasizes that Glo services are available everywhere, all over the world, connecting people “from Accra to Kaduna, Lagos to LA, from retail service outlets such as barber shops to boli sellers in the North, East, West and South of the globe. The song is already very popular and is expected to rise in fame because of its sing-along attribute and coterie of stars.
Globacom has the following strategic business units: Glo mobile, Glo Broad Access, Glo Gateway and Glo-1 & 2. Glo Gateway, is Globacom’s International Wholesale Voice and Data Exchange Trading Business Unit. Its Roaming has Postpaid relationships with 532 networks in 196 countries, Prepaid connections with 219 networks in 99 countries and Data roaming relationship with 405 networks in 148 countries. GLO has the largest roaming coverage for voice and data in Africa.
Glo Gateway Carrier Business is connected to over 150 operators and Carriers in all the continents, trading billions of minutes annually. Glo Gateway has a Point of Presence (POP) in London with virtual POPs in Frankfurt, New York and Hong Kong through which seamless connectivity is provided. Glo Gateway is the biggest wholesale voice trader in West Africa with a 24/7 Network operating centre to ensure customer satisfaction at all times.
Also , Glo Broad Access is the unit responsible for laying the optic fibre network for Globacom and for offering Fixed Line services. It was launched on 24 November 2009. It offers landline telephone and unlimited broadband internet, all on a single digital wire line. As part of Glo’s ever increasing service offering, Glo Broad Access will continue to expand the metro fibre rings and pan-Nigeria fibre backbone network. It has already rolled out over 13,500 kilometres of active fibre.
Undoubtedly, Glo has continued to gather many laurels for its effectiveness in the telecommunications industry , it recently clinched the Best Customer Service Company of the Year at the third Daar Awards held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja. In the same breath, the founder and chairman of the company, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jr., was adjudged the winner of the Businessman of the Year award category at the impressive ceremony attended by the crème-de-la-crème of the Nigerian society.
The pioneering roles of Nigeria’s foremost telecommunications company, Globacom, in African integration was also recognised by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Recognising Globacom in a report by BCG entitled: ‘Pioneering One Africa: African Corporations Trailblazing Across the Continent,’ the nation’s leading telecoms operator was listed as one of the six African companies driving the amalgamation of economic activities within the continent.
Remarkably, a survey carried out by the Research and Intelligence unit of Business Day Media Ltd, in collaboration with Jobberman.com, rated Glo in the Top Ten Most Respected Companies in Nigeria after the company scored 157 points on all six parameters across 12 cities of the country.
Globacom was rated in the top-ten alongside other high achieving companies and rewarded at an event organized by Business Day Media Ltd tagged ” Nigeria’s Top 100 Most Respected Companies Awards” in Lagos
Glo was similarly ranked amongst the top five most valuable brands in Africa. Publishers of Brand Africa which conducted the survey explained that Globacom made the list because it had “won the hearts of the communities where it has its footprint”. The report, which listed other leading African conglomerates, stated that Globacom got an impressive brand value of 655 to rank among the Top 5 brands in the continent in a list of the Top 10 Most Valuable Brands in Africa.
Nonetheless, the fully integrated telecommunications solutions provider, was one of the biggest winners at the Beacon of ICT (BoICT) Awards at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos. Apart from clinching the coveted “Most Innovative Mobile Player” of the year award, the operator was also inducted into the ICT Hall of Fame in recognition of its outstanding contributions to the growth of Nigeria’s telecom industry in the last decade.
Also this year the Organisers of the annual Beacon of ICT Awards say the remarkable achievements of digital solutions provider, Globacom, earned it the “Most Reliable Mobile 4G LTE Network” and “Most Innovative Mobile Network of the Year” which it won at the 13th edition of the event held in Lagos recently.
“Glo emerged winner in the two categories in an online voting process. Respondents voted for Glo in the “Most Innovative Network” category because of its unique products and value added services such as Glo Berekete, Glo Café and friendly recharge and data plans”.
The organizers added that for ICT stakeholders voting Glo mobile as the Largest and Most Reliable Mobile 4G LTE Network shows that the network is the most consistent data network in Nigeria in terms of value and pricing.
The Chairman, Association of Licensed Telecom Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, described the company as the game changer of the telecom industry.
National Telecommunications Carrier, Globacom, was adjudged one of the six most admired brands in Africa in the latest ranking by one of the continent’s most reputable business magazines, African Business.
The rankings, published edition of the London-based magazine, showed that Globacom polled a total Admiration Score of 345, placing the company as one of the six most valued brands on the continent ahead of many multinationals.
Globacom, with 22 other companies have featured in world’s largest professional network company, LinkedIn’s 2022 list of best places to work in Nigeria released recently.
Entitled: “Top Companies 2022: The 25 Best Workplaces to Grow Your Career in Nigeria”, the companies that made the list include companies in financial services, information technology, consumer goods, food and beverages, oil and gas, telecommunications, professional services and internet services.
As the Nigeria Telecom Market has witnessed strong growth in recent years and is expected to have continued growth over the forecast period to 2025. The growth in the industry is mainly due to increasing urban population with rising adoption of the mobile phones that supports 3G, 4G and 5G services across the country. Telecom sector is further expected to have strong growth over the forecast period with rising adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) in the sector that connect with wired and wireless broadband. Globacom is one company that will continue to provide quality and unprecedented service to its customers and partners.
At 19, Globacom is definitely and outstandingly ready for 5G, widely hyped as the next big thing in telecommunications with its compliant Band 28 channel and one can only wait with bated breath for the next magic from the grandmasters of data. Joyous celebrations.
Ugo Amadi is the Editor of Champion Newspapers Limited
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