"Roaming", a GSM service by which subscribers can use their phones even when they travel outside Nigeria, has been launched by MTN. According to Afam Edozie, MTN's chief marketing and strategy officer, "MTN customers can now call and be called on their phones, when they travel to UK, Singapore, Switzerland, Cote d'Ivoire and South Africa".
This development, has been driven, he
said, "by a strong relentless determination by MTN
to enhance subscriber convenience enabling them derive added value from being on the MTN
said has been made possible by partnerships between MTN
and a number of telecom companies around the world.MTN
is in partnership with BT Cellnet and Orange in the UK, Swisscom
in Switzerland, Starhub
in Singapore, Loteny Telecom in Cote d'Ivoire and MTN South Africa in South Africa.In addition, he
stated, MTN Nigeria subscribers can roam on the Thuraya satellite network, sequel to an exclusive partnership deal with Thuraya Satellite systems.
Coverage by Thuraya satellite systems spans Europe, North and Central Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia as well as the Indian sub continent.In all, said Edozie
, MTN customers will have telecommunications access to more than 90 countries through the Thuraya network.
Thuraya systems, he
said, have a satellite as well as GSM mode.MTN customers who roam on Thuraya network, he
said, would need to use a Thuraya handset with an MTN SIM card inserted.The phone's dual nature, he
said, is such that even in areas not currently accessible by GSM signals, MTN customers can still call and be called, simply by switching over to the satellite mode of communications.Roaming
is however, currently restricted to post paid customers only and customers who wish to roam when they travel, said Edozie
, may simply apply for this facility at any of MTN's Friendship Centres located at Ikoyi, Victoria Island, Apapa, Matori, Abuja and Port Harcourt.Subscribers, he
added are also required to deposit N50,000 and an additional N25,000 for international calling if they do not already have this service.In addition, they are required to contact MTN
at least one week before their planned departure date.They should also, added Edozie, have set a password for their voicemail box.
"Our roaming partners will steadily grow in the coming months", said Edozie
, who added that the company is in negotiations with telecom companies in many other countries of the world to enhance communications by MTN subscribers who happen to travel to those parts of the world.MTN Nigeria
is part of the MTN Group, Africa's
leading mobile telephony company.An innovation-driven company, it made the first GSM call in May 2001 and after commercial launch in August, rapidly introduced several value-added services."Roaming
is the latest in our long line of value added services and signposts our unrelenting commitment to customer convenience and satisfaction", concluded Edozie