Source: Daily Independent
Visafone, the newest and wholly owned Nigerian mobile phone company makes history today (Friday) as it launches full commercial operations of its telecommunication services across Nigeria in 12 states and over 40 cities including Lagos and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The roll-out raises hopes of intending subscribers who are surprised that a Nigerian owned telecoms company, could roll out in 12 states and in over 40 cities at a stretch, with a bundle of 3G (EVDO) and Internet broadband connectivity services.
Owned by chief executive officer of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia as Founder and promoter, Visafone has over $200m support from Nigerian banks.
The company received its Unified Access Service licence as a telecom operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) following its acquisition of Cellcom and other two telecommunications companies.
Visafone promises to become one of the preferred telecom operators in Nigeria by offering seamless and efficient services that will ensure the best clarity and the widest coverage. It will also offer an exciting bouquet of superior services that include the very best of Voice, High Speed Data 3G (EVDO) internet and other innovative value added services to individual subscribers while also providing unequalled business solutions to large corporate bodies as well as the small and medium scale enterprises in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch while unfolding the company's business plan and strategy Mr. Ninan Thomas, chief executive of Visafone said that his company's "overriding plan is to act as a spring board for Nigeria's economic growth and development. To achieve this, the company will assist in fast tracking that growth and development through the provision of cutting edge communications infrastructure as well as seamless and efficient services that will ensure excellent customer service, unequalled clarity, the widest coverage and seamless connectivity."
Pleased with the wealth of experience of Thomas, Jim Ovia said he is at home with the Indian-American who is bringing to the company his experience at Reliance India as well as Motorola in the United States, where he earlier worked.
According to Ovia, the chief executive is coming to Visafone to replicate what he did in India where he raised the subscriber base of Reliance Telecom to over 40 million with a space few years that he worked or the telecoms company.
Visafone's emergence is expected to up the competitive ante in Nigeria's very exciting mobile phone business segment of the economy as it contributes its own quota to improving the quality of service, enlarging subscriber base and broadening capacity in the telecom industry, he said.
As Visafone rolls out commercially across Nigeria, the syndicated financial windfall is expected to come in handy for building capacity, expanding the network and coverage area as well as in actualizing part of the company's dream of taking 5000 Nigerians off the unemployment market in the next 5 years and giving Nigerians a passport to reach the world.
Visafone was incorporated in Nigeria on June 20, 2007 following its acquisition of Cellcom received its Unified Access Service licence as a telecom operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on July 1, 2007.
Less than two months after its registration Visafone was announced as the approved bidder for the 3 carriers in the 800 MHz spectrum put on auction by the NCC.
Visafone has also carried out a number of strategic acquisitions to help position it for a pan-Nigerian launch. The acquired companies include ITN which is operational in the Lagos area while a more high profile and strategic acquisition is Bourdex with operations in South-eastern Nigeria. With over 40,000 subscribers and coverage in 10 states, Bourdex and the two other acquisitions provide Visafone with a ready market.
With a subscriber base spread over 12 states and 40 cities, Visafone says it will offer a rich blend of unique and innovative products as well as exciting value added services from fast connectivity to excellent voice clarity and high speed data on the 3G internet platform.