Moving on from its successful acquisition of Visafone communications Limited -- with a view to utilising the CDMA operator’s 800MHz spectrum to launch Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) services – MTN Nigeria has started full integration of Visafone customers into its Global System of Mobile communication (GSM) platform.
Although the move to run Visafone as a GSM platform came as a surprise given the company's initial plans prior to the acquisition to retain Visafone’s CDMA platform. MTN opted to integrate Visafone into its GSM operation, and run it as voice over its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology network having considered its implication in a GSM dominated environment like Nigeria.
With this move, customers of Visafone would be glad to be joining the GSM simtype which is widely used while keeping their numbers, enjoy same tariff and able to connect freely to other networks without hitches. However given that the biggest advantage of the CDMA lies in its capability to handle more users in the same spectrum and particularly its support for higher data rates over the GSM network, it would appear Visafone customers would be giving up a lot more than they expect.
About 2, 140, 299 subscribers controlled by the CDMA operator will be making this switch, and have been asked by MTN to call 222 customer care line to get details on how to migrate.
While speaking on the acquisition, Corporate Services and Human Resources Executive of MTN Nigeria, Amina Oyagbola emphasised how the acquisition would enhance product/service offerings and experience in the data space to the delight of their customers.
In her words “We are committed to exploring avenues for meeting our customers’ increasing data needs in line with our vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to our customers.”
“As we work to maximise our data capabilities towards achieving broadband of international quality, our objective is to ensure that Nigerians experience a boost in the quality of broadband Internet services translating to the much-needed enhanced data speeds and value to enhance personal and business productivity,” She added.