Its Group Chief Technical Officer, Sanjib Roy, who spoke during a media event at Eko Hotel, said when the cable is launched, it will stimulate the overall socio-economic development of the rivers and Niger Delta regions of the country.
According to him, the cable will provide the much needed bandwidth for local information communication technology (ICT) business to flourish. He added that it will also provide back up for the terrestrial fibre route from Port Harcourt to Lagos for much better resilience in case of fibre cuts.
He said the cable will contain three fiber pairs which include Fiber Pair 1 (Express) – connecting Lagos directly to Southern part of Nigeria with terrestrial extension to existing terrestrial backbone; Fiber Pair 2 (Omnibus 1) – with eight Branching Units (BU) to offshore oil stations and communities; and Fiber Pair 3 (Omnibus 2) – with two switchable Branching Units (BU) southward Africa
Speaking on new initiatives for this year, Roy said the telco has done proof of concept for 5G in 700megahertz (Mhz) band for Internet of Things (IoT) application and plans to introduce new data analytics tools to capture subscriber experience in real time and taking pre-emptive action to improve the network.
He said the telco plans new prepaid charging system that will enable new products and give more choices to its subscribers. Others are new contact centre solution, sites roll out deeper into the rural areas to bridge the digital divide between the cities and villages. Globacom will also embark on new densification sites to increase capacity, thus providing a congestion free network with superior quality in voice and data.
Roy said: “Swapping of old equipment in the remaining states for better quality and experience to our subscribers; rolling out long term evolution (LTE) 1800Mhz through frequency re-farming to give choice for everyone to enjoy the fruits of technology; upgrading Glo 1 capacity by another 100G for data speed; equipment more path redundancy to take care of fibre cuts and investment in creating intelligent network operating centre (NOC) to give the best value to our customer with rapid response time in monitoring and correcting network problems.”
He said last year was a year of massive investment in equipment and infrastructure to improve the network availability, capacity, quality and upgrading, adding that the huge investments were also to scale up the network for the future and innovation in new products.
According to him, the telco has deployed more than 2000 new generators and 6000 new batteries for better network availability, stressing that work is ongoing on the telco’s more than 1000km of fibre route for relocation of fibre which are having multiple cuts where the road construction is completed.
“Globacom has streamlined site distribution to fuelling contractors. We are already seeing the improvement resulting into higher activation and traffic capacity. We have ordered 1710 base transceiver station (BTS) and 2200 High Capacity Node B. Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Rivers have undergone equipment swap while Edo and Delta are currently being swapped.
“We have also deployed high wattage radio remote units (RRU) for 3G and multi-sector antenna for better 3G indoor coverage and high speed data download. 750- 3G multi-sectors and 700 high capacity CE boards have been ordered to enable our subscribers to continue to enjoy high speed data. The result is that we now have a much better data and voice network in terms of download speed, quality of signal and coverage. In terms of backhaul capacity, we are upgrading the capacity of existing microwave links, converting TDM linke to internet protocol (IP) for 2G and 3G; deploying high capacity microwave back up links to increase data backhaul capacity and protect traffic against fibre cuts,” Roy said.
According to him, the introduction of new E Band Radio Technology in network resulted in increase in band width from 400megabyte (MB) to 1.5 – 2 gigabyte (GB) in Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Rivers states while 1000 microwave were ordered to modernise the transmission network to IP.
Glo 1 submarine cable capacity has been upgraded to 300G all the way from Lagos to the United Kingdom providing huge bandwidth for mobile and enterprise businesses.
He said: “We have a brand new network with superior quality and higher capacity; activation is looking up; traffic is going up while consumption. This means we are reaching out to more and more Nigerians to enable them to achieve their dreams. We are going to embark on scientific and methodical way of rolling out new sites based on feedback from the regions on where the sites are needed to address customer complaints. Already, there are many sites that are in the process of rollout based on field feedback.
“We are also rolling out LTE in 1800MHz band for greater handset compatibility and subscriber adoption and planning to rollout LTE in 1800 Band this year in major cities to increase our Data penetration in 4G LTE and allow higher handset adoption to enable and empower the masses and harness the future into their fingers,”