Airtel Nigeria has rolled out its 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution Service) in Onitsha, Awka, Nnewi and other major cities and towns in Anambra to boost trade and commerce.
Speaking at the launch in Onitsha on Thursday, Mr Segun Ogunsanya, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, said it would empower entrepreneurs, improve productivity and enhance personal effectiveness in the areas.
Ogunsanya said the 4G roll-out was Airtel’s commitment to empower more Nigerians, stimulate economic activities across all sectors as well as provide unfettered access to affordable and reliable mobile Internet services.
“Today, we are unveiling our 4G service in Onitsha, Awka, Amawbia, Nkpor, Obosi, Ogidi, Ogbunike, Umuoji, Nsugbe, Onitsha and Nnewi.
“With this launch, we will power people, businesses and aid governance through technology.
“Specifically, our 4G launch in Onitsha will help to boost commerce and also provide entrepreneurs a veritable platform to connect with more stakeholders,” he said.
Ogunsanya was represented by Mr Dapo Dosunmu, Regional Operations Director, South Region.
Also, the Deputy Governor of Anambra, Dr Nkem Okeke, commended Airtel Nigeria for modernising its network infrastructure in the state.
“This event calls for celebration as Airtel’s current upgrading and modernising of its network infrastructure across major cities has come into Onitsha, the major commercial city in Anambra.
“It is my sincere hope that the Board and Management of Airtel will continue to be committed to the empowerment of Nigerians in general and Ndi Anambra in particular,” Okeke said.
The deputy governor urged the firm to advance the telecommunications’ infrastructure to stimulate accelerated economic activities across all sectors as well as provide affordable and reliable mobile network to teeming customers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Airtel had unveiled its 4G LTE services in Ibadan and Abuja earlier in the year.
NAN also reports that what is Airtel Nigeria, came into existence in 2001 as Econet Wireless Nigeria, then 0one of the three companies that won the GSM license auction with others being MTN Nigeria and MTEL.
Due to political shenanigans and corruption practices, Econet Nigeria would eventually lose its management contract.
In what would be the fastest management change in the company’s storied history, a few months later, and management changed hands again.
The details are fuzzy but eventually, Vodacom pulled out of Nigeria and Vee Networks found themselves at the helm of affairs.
The company became known as Vmobile. There was a corresponding rebranding campaign in 2004.
Sometime in May 2006, Vmobile Nigeria was acquired by Celtel, another telecommunications company, for about a billion dollars.
This gave the new owners a controlling stake of 65 per cent in the company. Another rebranding campaign was due.
Sometime in 2008 we saw another change occur. Zain Group, another telecoms company, completed its acquisition of all Celtel International’s shares of over 3 billion dollars.
Consequently, the entire African operations of Celtel was rebranded from Celtel to Zain, marking the end of the Celtel brand.
About two years later, around November 2010, Zain clipped its wings and morphed into Airtel Nigeria. The change was brought about by an acquisition where Bharti Airtel paid a hefty sum of 10.7 billion dollars to have its name today as Airtel Nigeria.