Gadgets Technology

TELECOMS: WHY NETCOM AFRICA IS REINVENTING AND EVOLVING IN A CHANGING ECOSYSTEM

Nigerian telecommunication space can be said to be evolving since the early 2000. A reference point to what telecommunication regulation ought to be in Africa, especially the Sub Saharan region.  Having said that, the country isn’t yet there and lot has to be done.  Since the arrival of GSM in the country, many telecom firms have either died, given up or evolved since the advent of GSM licencing. One of the hardest hits were the satellite communication firms. In the early days the country was heavily dependent on satellite technology for calls and internet connectivity. With all the inherent disadvantages saddled with this type of communication, telecommunication companies (Telco’s) started an ambitious project of laying fibre optic cables across the country. This is in line with broadband masterplan of the country. This fibre project literally threw some satellite companies out of balance or out of business leaving the infrastructure companies (Infracos) as the kings. 

Some of these Satellite Service Providers evolved while some were innovative, one of the firms that have made tremendous impact whose footprints are visible in the telecommunication ecosystem is NETCOM AFRICA. Netcom can be described as an early bird in the Nigerian telecom space, not only being an early bird, the company has consistently shown adaptability and innovation in the space. Not only having the best worms as it is in case of early birds, figuratively, Netcom has brought world class solutions and international expertise in a local space. This singular attribute has made NETCOM visible and their services commendable to clients and prospects.

On the transition of the company, Sean Hsu, Chief Executive Officer of NETCOM Africa said “The transition is a matter of economics, the margins on data are small, it’s around three to four percent and this is not sustainable. The cost of doing business is high and as an organization, for one to still stay afloat in a highly competitive market, there is a need for evolution. Let us look at this example; data sales need so much volume now compared to when we entered the market 14 years ago. The internet penetration in Nigeria is in major cities and the rural areas need satellite and they are not economically viable. But in managed services, you can make some decent margins. That is why we have to diversify, and in technology there is constant evolution. At the end of the day we have to look at costs, prices, and margins, and that is why we did a transition. When we started out, the culture in the company was like “we are fine, why change”, but today everyone in the company embraces change because we are trying to predict the future of business’, which is business intelligence, analytical intelligence, that is the future. Companies are beginning to come to terms that as they mature, they might not have that 10% profit or more, the profits would shrink because of the ever-evolving market, sophisticated customer base and competition especially in a stable environment.” 

Speaking on the evolution of Netcom Africa, Charles Harrington, Vice President, Corporate Development & Marketing, NETCOM Africa speaks the evolution of NETCOM AFRICA. In his words he said “When Netcom entered the market 15 years ago, we were primarily an internet service provider with a focus on corporate clients. As time went on our customers’ demands for more solutions led us to expand our service offerings. Our focus has not shifted from the corporate market, but our area of expertise now lies in connectivity, managed services such as Office 365, Virtual servers using Azure and Amazon, infrastructure as a service, and IT Outsourcing. Our IT outsourcing in particular is one area that is gaining a lot of momentum. We take decided to look at the IT needs of firms and we offer to handle the day to day duties of a company’s IT staff allowing them to focus on their core competencies while we handle their technology. In addition to taking over the responsibilities, we also set a technology roadmap showing them where they are and where we want to bring them to.” 

The Group Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer of Netcom Africa, Yen Choi, speaks of the evolution of Netcom Africa these past years. He said “Well a lot has changed from how we started to the Nigerian information technology (IT) space. It was 2004 that Netcom Africa was established, and we started with VSAT services, ours was one of the most innovative then, we came to the market with a different mind-set. We came with 1.2 meter antenna whereas others have antennas that are as large as 2.4 meters. The 1.2 meter antenna which was smaller and also revolutionary in the Nigerian IT market, it was also cheaper and more efficient than what was available then. We grew in this space rapidly and our subscriber base increased exponentially. One of our ways of working was innovating, we constantly tried to innovated and that is what IT firms must understand, innovation is the key in this industry. We were also one of the first companies to connect to the SAT 3 cable system. ” 

Yen added “This is an undersea cable that connects Europe to Nigeria. The benefits were that the capacity was large; this reduced the cost of internet and also latency. We were the first to offer SAT 3 services outside of Nigeria Telecommunications (NITEL) of then which was a national carrier. We tried to pre-empt the fact that the country wouldn’t only be dependent on satellite services. Very shortly, we launched one of the first mobile broadband platforms, it was a device that is the size of an average mobile phone it is a PCMCIA card that can be inserted into the laptop. This device made customers to have access to SAT 3 bandwidth anywhere in Lagos. We called it “MyNetcom.” At that time, the competition was the fixed wireless and our solution was faster than the competitors who were offering to subscribers then about 100 kilobits per second. When we came into the market, we changed the conversation and we started offering services over 10,000 kilobits kB per second as of then.” 

On Fibre Optics and telecom infrastructure, Yen said “that We began to roll out fiber across the city, we focused on exclusively on demanding business customers, and we started connecting them to the internet using fiber and microwave. These are high speed connections. Upon enjoying extremely reliable and high-speed connections. These customers not only wanting wanted the internet connection, but they also wanted us to manage their IT operations. We achieved ISO and TL 9000 certification. These are a demonstration of our quality of service. We were the first and probably the only telecommunication company in Africa with TL 9000 certification. This was a big milestone for us.” 

As consumers are getting more sophisticated, they demand for world class services. Netcom Africa understood the need to be abreast and in tune with the realities, having evolved from data or high-speed internet service provider. The company took a great step by introducing Smart Home Solution into the country. This service is focused on bringing a bouquet of telecommunication and smart solutions to facilities management. In today’s world, buildings are going smart and tenants are becoming more sophisticated by demanding that buildings are connected with fiber optic cables, biometrics, VPN, access control, and security cameras, this is why we came up with the e-space. “We are the preferred service provider for these buildings; we can tailor the solutions for each client. We have many partnerships globally for different solutions. We position ourselves to our clients as the trusted adviser or consultant. We try as much as possible to understand our clients and offer the best solutions. Netcom’s Smart Building Solutions connect, manage, and automate your building IT infrastructure. Downtime from IT infrastructure can lead to a huge loss in productivity and in turn affect the revenues. Global companies can lose precious time and money due to inefficient management of the IT infrastructure”, Yen opined.  

As the world is shifting to cloud solutions, NETCOM AFRICA understands the need to move Nigerian corporate organisations to secure cloud solutions. As a world class company, security, encryption and support is their watchword over these years, Harrington expressed his view on this in a chat some time ago. “A couple of years ago companies would shudder to think they could put their servers in someone else’s server room or data center, and even worse to put it in the cloud! Today companies here in Nigeria are embracing the idea. At Netcom we offer data center colocation as well as VM’s. In addition, we now offer these on Microsoft and Amazon platforms, and we have in house experts to setup and manage these solutions for your company. One of our solutions for data backup and recovery is eVault. All companies should take data security seriously and it’s only after a disaster that some people think of it. Power outages, Hardware failures, ransomware and even human error are threats that could compromise your data. We can custom tailor a data backup solution for whatever environment you have so that you can feel confident knowing your critical data and systems can be recovered in such an event. Network security, event monitoring and access are few of the solutions that we have in place. 

“The move to the cloud is never easy, and it’s even scary for some! Change is something that we as humans fear the most, but we can all agree that with constant improving change is best. Part of the big change for data is moving it to the cloud and then try to make it easy as possible for our clients. We go in and look at all of the data need that they have and help develop a plan for what they need to move. You would be surprised at how much data they don’t actually need to move, or that’s been duplicated or simply unnecessary”, Charles added. 

“Netcom has been in business since 2004 as one of the foremost internet service providers in Nigeria, and we try as much as to stay ahead of competition. We have over time deployed cutting-edge infrastructure technology solutions such as VSAT, WIMAX, radio and as of today, fiber technology, as well as, managed IT solutions (Cloud PBX, ERP, CRM, SaaS, HaaS and IT outsourced services). Now we can be seen as a front runner in the area of transformational IT solutions for business. We also try as much as possible to engage organizations and ensure that they lead their market space by been abreast of the rapid changes in IT innovations. This is one of our strengths, using our team of our experts and in line with global best practices, we deliver transformational IT solutions. With a 24/7 dedicated support team, we can be said to be one of the best in the country. From our team of network engineers, system integrators, and application developers, we have been able to bring global best IT solutions to Nigerian firms”, Sean Hsu, CEO of NETCOM Africa concluded. 

Anthony Nwosu

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like

Agriculture Business Featured Finance News Society Sponsored Technology Telecoms

USSD LAUNCH: NIGERIA’S NO. 1 AGRITECH COMPANY EXPANDS ACCESS TO QUALITY FARM INPUTS.

post-image

 

Information technology is a driver of any sector and boosts productivity; agriculture inclusive. In a bid to ensure that food production and security are improved, AFRIMASH Company Limited, an indigenous agriculture eCommerce platform has introduced a ground-breaking USSD technology and Agent Network system for farmers to have access to farm inputs at the click of a button. The Company has been described as innovative and the first of its kind in the country by industry watchers and stakeholders. Afrimash is positioned to improve the way farmers are engaged in the rural parts of the country using these two technologies.

Our USSD code, *2282*2#, and Agent Network System are unique in the Agri-tech ecosystem and are posed as solutions to the challenges farmers face in rural communities. Speaking to the media on the importance of the newly introduced USSD technology, Ayoade Ahmed Oyedotun, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Afrimash…

Read More
Business Events Investments News Society Technology Trends

FINTRAK BRINGS INNOVATIVE TECH SOLUTIONS TO THE RWANDA FINANCIAL ECOSYSTEM

post-image

 

 

 

Fintrak Software Limited, an indigenous financial technology firm based in Lagos with an international footprint in various African country recently held banking and financial industry of Rwanda in awe with the reintroduction of their solution known as ENTERPRISE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SOLUTION. A software application that is designed for businesses to boost productivity and reduce human error in all the areas of their enterprise. The Fintech also presented their credit management solution known as CREDIT MANAGEMENT SOLUTION, the event was held at the KIGALI MARRIOT HOTEL, in the Rwandan capital City.

Speaking to the Rwanda financial ecosystem, the company described the Credit management solution as a software that was designed to help banks meet the need to identify, measure, monitor and control credit risk as well as to determine that they hold adequate capital against these risks and that they are adequately compensated for risks incurred. The Credit Risk 360 solution…

Read More
Announcements Business Finance Gadgets Technology Technology Trends Trends

Binance Announces Global Advisory Board

post-image

Binance (www.Binance.com), the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, is pleased to announce the creation of its new Global Advisory Board (GAB), comprised of distinguished experts in public policy, government, finance, economics, and corporate governance.

 

The Global Advisory Board, chaired by former US Senator and Ambassador to China, Max Baucus, recently convened in Paris, France. The board’s purpose is to advise Binance on some of the most complex regulatory, political, and social issues the entire crypto industry faces as it grows and evolves at a fast pace.

“For the past five years, Binance has been at the forefront of pioneering the exciting new world of crypto, blockchain, and Web3,” said Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao. “In that time, we’ve tackled complex issues no one even knew existed. We’ve maintained our focus throughout on delivering compliance solutions that protect the interests of crypto users, while keeping…

Read More
Business Fashion Society Sponsored Tourism Travels Trends

Africana X plosion – From Nigeria to the World; Africana set standards for success in Africa

post-image

The merry sound of clinking glasses, hearty laughter and afrobeats music permeated the cool September evening at Rue Marconi Zone 4, a posh business district in the Ivorien port city of Abidjan. The motley crowd of extremely well and colourfully dressed individuals gathered at the brilliantly lit venue were celebrating the grand opening of an Africana X (https://shopAfricana.co) flagship store – the first of its kind outside of Nigeria.

VIDEO

 

By establishing this new store in Abidjan, a city that widely reflects the culture of French speaking West Africa, the Africana (https://bit.ly/3R7Wv8m) brand made significant statement of intent – that they are taking the lead in the movement to propagate African fashion on a global scale.

Perhaps, this explains…

Read More
Announcements Business Education Events Featured Investments News Society Tourism Travels Trends

THINK CANADA FAIR BRINGS INTERNATIONAL STUDY EXPOSURE TO ALL NIGERIANS IN THEIR FORTHCOMING EVENT

post-image

 

 

The need for people to have international exposure in today’s highly competitive workplace becomes important and imminent. This has made a lot of Nigerians to think of schooling in reputable international universities that will avail them the great opportunities of modern workplace and globalized world. In line with this narrative, Think Canada Fair is bringing to Nigerians that are willing to utilize the opportunities of schooling in Canada a platform with Canada 2023 at Nigeria’s Biggest Study Fair this October.

The Think Canada Fair is bringing together an array of top Canadian Universities, alongside their representatives, to the biggest study fair in Nigeria. Happening across 3 major cities in Nigeria, the annual event is scheduled to be held in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt on October: 14th, 15th, 18th and 20th 2022 respectively.

Speaking to the media in a press conference, the Marketing Manager, Femi Olatunji said, “we are looking forward…

Read More
Business Events Health Interviews News Opinion Society

MOPPET BABY FORMULA:AFTER ONE YEAR IN BUSINESS NIGERIANS ARE HAPPY WITH THE PRODUCT!!! 

post-image

 

Baby formula has been expensive and one of the biggest fear that new parents have. In short in Nigeria they will tell you that one should use protection because the cost of NAN and other cereal is expensive. Having seen and noticed the plight of Nigerian in terms of feeding their infants with good foods that are created specifically for the Nigerian infants. Roberta Edu, a serial businesswoman and a core IT expert established Moppet to cater for these sets of Nigerians.

Just after a year of doing business. A business that came up during the COVID 19 lock down when shops where closed and there is need to feed kids. Being a mother Roberta researched on the best way to feed her lovely child when the shops and malls are closed. She came up with Moppet. A business born out of idea and COVID 19 lock down.

Speaking on the…

Read More
Business Investments News Security Society Technology Technology Trends

Ukheshe and Digital PayGo drive Zambian business growth through the SME in-a-box Merchant Solution

post-image

Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution is making tangible changes to the lives of millions in Zambia through a partnership with Digital PayGo, improving financial inclusion and enhancing business dealings for entrepreneurs.

Digital PayGo, a local Zambian fintech driving a mobile-first approach, enhancing the digital payment space for SMEs, is the first partner to utilise Ukheshe’s SME in-a-box solution to its fullest extent and provides a range of virtual financial services to its customers.

“We’re so proud to be the technology partner enabling Digital PayGo in their partnership with Zambian bank Zanaco and Mastercard to implement this solution,” says Mark Dankworth, President of Business Development in Africa at Ukheshe.

“In line with Mastercard’s vision of enabling 50 million SMEs by 2025, the relationship between Ukheshe and Digital PayGo was a natural fit, given our shared…

Read More
Business Society Technology

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

post-image

NITDA INTENSIFIES COMMITMENT TO CREATE A DIGITALLY FORMIDABLE FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has continued to display its commitment to the sustainability of a digitally transformed Nigeria by engaging the workforce of various Federal Public Institutions (FPIs) in capacity development programmes to create a digitally formidable federal public service towards the realization of a digital Nigeria.

This was revealed at the closing ceremony of a capacity-building programme organised by NITDA for 100 participants from Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), Military and Paramilitary agencies who were trained on Digital Literacy and Skills, Cybersecurity Essentials and Cloud Computing.

Giving his closing remark at the event, the NITDA Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa CCIE expressed his pleasure at the participants for their active participation and contribution to class activities throughout the programme while urging them to be good ambassadors of the knowledge gained in their various organisations.

The DG who…

Read More