In a strategic move to avail its subscribers of functional and affordable devices and ensure their stickiness with its network, Ntel has launched the NOVA 4G/LTE dual-SIM phone into the Nigerian market.
Ntel operates a 4G/LTE Advanced network which is not 2G or 3G phone-compatible.
By the introduction of the Nova into the market place, telecom industry watchers believe, Ntel is targeting the mass market segment, which previous devices launch may have inadvertently literally excluded, in order to shore up its subscriber base and delete whatever disadvantages this may have caused the firm, as it strives to take its disruptive services to all parts of Nigeria.
The timing of the launch of the Nova 4G/LTE device is apt as the Nigerian economy struggles to wriggle out of recession waters and subscribers could barely cope with the pricing of other devices which literally bites the already lean purses of consumers of telecom services.
Make no mistakes about it, Nigeria, nay Africa, is a price-sensitive market and even a marginal price reduction will excite the right sentiment in buyers and get them respond to a product or service even when they are least ready to part with their money. And, coupled with the exchange volatility in the market, a product pricing around N25, 000.00, envisaged for Nova, will most likely gel with consumers.
And, from a hardware point of view, Nigeria is least operator-led, say experts. In operator-led markets, subscribers purchase devices directly from network operators. In Nigeria, most subscribers buy their devices in the open market. At best, it is a laggard market with a small per centtage of buyers depending on their networks, while South Africa is a clear continental leader, although Kenya is held to be Africa’s best example when considering a hybrid model wherein operators supply devices to consumers in addition to purchases from an open market.
Interestingly, Ntel CEO Kamar Abass maintains his company is not for the rich.
So, what is the insider thinking within Ntel that instigated the telco to bring in the Nova? An amalgam of factors put together, especially a recessed economy and exchange rate volatility,it is held, will not attract many deep pocket buyers for the princely priced devices and so focusing on these will not help Ntel achieve the kind of volume and scale its marketers are projecting. So what will do the magic? A rugged, well-priced, dual SIM device that is market-tested and reliable. This is a yawning vacuum that the Nova 4G/LTE phone has come to fill and it proves to be a killer strategy for the telco.
“The entry of ntel NOVA into the device market signals a new dawn in the evolution of the Nigerian 4G/LTE segment which has been impacted by concerns around the availability and affordability of 4G/LTE-capable devices. Our investment in ntel NOVA further underscores our firm commitment to changing the game in the 4G/LTE broadband segment and to support the actualisation of the penetration targets outlined in the National Broadband Plan of 2013,” a company information to which Africa Telecom & IT is privy, says.
From a devices design perspective, the ntel NOVA phone is, according to the Ntel information, “an exciting ergonomically designed, low priced, dual-SIM device defined by characteristics of both a feature phone and a smart phone.
The sleek device which comes in three distinct colours; rose gold, gold and grey, runs on the Android 6.0 operating system with a 8GB+1GB RAM capacity and has front 5 mega pixels and rear 2 mega pixel cameras, with Bluetooth and WiFi hotspot capabilities. The ntel NOVA has space for a micro USB 2.0, earphone jack and two micro SIM card slots. It has 1800mAh battery capacity, with Standby time of 7 days and talk time of 9 hours.
In addition to a high-quality 3.8-inch capacitive touch screen, it also provides a traditional keyboard for quick dialing while boasting 4 dedicated Quick Launch keys for internet apps – Facebook, Internet Browser, Twitter, and WhatsApp.
To ensure visibility and ubiquity of the Nova, Ntel is doing a road show across its three major cities of operation to introduce the phone and create awareness for its latest 4G/LTE device which comes in to complement its fast selling MiFis and routers.
Ntel is Nigeria’s first advanced 4G/LTE network providing superfast Internet access that enables voice, data video and TV on demand. Its network is built on the 900/1800 Mhz which are the best propagation frequencies for the deployment of 4G/LTE technology.
Ntel offerings include: National Bandwidth, International Voice Termination, International Bandwidth, Mobile Network and Fixed Network.
The company made its first on-net test data call in Lagos on Monday January 18, 2016 and followed up with its first on-net Voice over LTE (VOLTE) call in Lagos on Tuesday, February 23, 2016.
Full commercial operations began on Friday 08 04 2016 in Lagos and Abuja with Port Harcourt coming on stream in December 2016.
Clifford Agugoesihappy wheels