12 January 2013

Nigeria: Quality Service - Can Etisalat, Alcatel-Lucent Partnership Deliver?

When Etisalat Nigeria unveiled "Not just a network, it's an attitude" campaign, the leading telecoms giant was simply reinforcing its claim of being the most innovative telecoms service provider especially in terms of quality service delivery. Despite its creative execution with exciting materials to drive home the message, the network like other GSM operators, failed to deliver on its promise to its subscribers across the country.

However, in spite of these failures, the company is not resting as it continues to push on efforts to ensure subscribers get value for their money. To this end, Etisalat recently at its corporate office in Lagos, signed an agreement with Alcatel-Lucent, a global leader in mobile, fixed, IP and optics technologies, the sixth phase of the agreement between the two companies, to provide Establish Operate and Transfer Services for the establishment of a Public Mobile Cellular Service in Nigeria for Region II of its network, which comprises Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Kwara, Ondo, Ekiti, Edo, Kogi and Delta states.

Speaking on the development, Chief Executive Officer of Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Steven Evans, described the contract signing as a milestone towards the company's drive to continually upgrade its network in order to provide better services to its customers around the country.

"This is a significant milestone as we move into the next phase of our network roll-out. We plan to increase our cell sites by an additional 1,000 in 2013 and this agreement is towards achieving that target. We are happy to be partnering with Alcatel-Lucent, in fulfillment of our promise to continuously deliver quality and innovative services to our customers every step of the way," he said.

He explained that the agreement with Alcatel-Lucent is for the provision of equipment and services for the expansion of its network in the above states. "This agreement being executed is for phase six of the project and it is for the further expansion and strengthening of the network in the region. Under this phase six, Alcatel is to build additional sites and provide the necessary equipment and services for the integration of the sites into the Etisalat Nigeria network," he further revealed.

Also speaking, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Middle East and Africa, Turkey and Azerbaijan, Amr El-Leithy, said: "This new agreement further strengthens our long-standing relationship with Etisalat covering numerous projects, and demonstrates their confidence in our ability to build, deliver and deploy end-to-end complex networks with strong local expertise and support capabilities. We are committed to supporting Etisalat's growth in Nigeria and ensure world class services for its customers, and we look forward to continuing our successful working relationship into the future."

How much this current network expansion and strengthening efforts would go to achieve the desired goal is yet to be seen given similar efforts with Huawei for the supply of equipment and services for the expansion of its network throughout Nigeria.

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