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NIGCOMSAT, PortaOne to drive access, affordability of satellite Internet in Nigeria

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To deepen digital inclusion in Nigeria, the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT) has taken on a new approach in to delivery of satellite connectivity solutions by establishing an eco-system of Virtual Internet Service Providers (VISPs).

The Federal agency will drive the initiative using the digital BSS (Business Support System) PortaBilling, provided by PortaOne.

Run by the Federal Government of Nigeria, NigComSat is a leading satellite operator and service provider in Africa, providing connectivity solutions to key markets such as government, defense, maritime, enterprise and cellular back-haul.

While stressing that the target of the new idea is to improve the coverage area and reduce the cost of satellite Internet in Nigeria, the agency averred that VISPs will rent data channels from the NIGCOMSAT orbiting satellite and then rely on the PortaBilling self-care portal to manage their tariff plans and subscribers.

PortaBilling will carry out all service monetization including service activation, charging, invoicing and payment collection. So a VISP does not need to purchase or implement any infrastructure, and the only action required on the VISP side is to install the customer’s equipment.

Such low entry barrier enables nearly any local company such as system integrator, utility or even a supermarket chain to become an ISP. It will have major effects in several key markets, in particular for Small Office or Home Office (SOHO) – these customers will benefit from better satellite connectivity.

Nigcomsat Visit
Managing Director and CEO of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, playing host to some top military offcers during a courtesy visit in her officer recently

Managing Director and CEO of NIGCOMSAT, Dr Abimbola Alale, said with the deployment of PortaBilling, the system is already on a robust and flexible solution capable of addressing common challenges that Internet Service Providers in Nigeria face at the moment.

He said “It will also aid profitability, market readiness and a need for technology, which evolves with the market because PortaOne offers a license, unlimited in terms of number of subscribers or resellers. This helps to maintain a low and predictable TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).”

She expressed her gratitude to PortaOne team for their agile development work done on the project to integrate with other elements of the solution such as online payment through REMITA.

Based in Canada, PortaOne is a leading software developer of agile service provisioning and billing systems for modern telecommunication companies – across the globe.

The CEO of PortaOne, Andriy Zhylenko said the company’s platform adds, flexible convergent digital BSS is a crucial tool which will enable NIGCOMSAT to succeed via monetization of an innovative service and better customer experience.

“At the heart of PortaBilling is an open architecture that will integrate seamlessly with NIGCOMSAT’s value-added services. The two will work smoothly together to create cutting edge solutions that will meet the needs of today’s customers”, Zhylenko explained.

He stated that PortaBilling will make internet access in Nigeria more abundant and affordable, by building a vast network of VISPs in the country. PortaBilling would further enable prepaid Satellite Internet access across Nigeria – by improving revenue collection and reduction of leakage for VISPs and NIGCOMSAT.

“Since the entry is simplified and the operating costs are minimal due to fully automated service provisioning and charging, new Internet Service Providers will be able to appear in regions where they did not exist before. As a result, the overall end-user experience will be improved and there will be more healthy competition,” Zhylenko further averred.

PortaOne logoThe Executive Director, Technical Services of NIGCOMSAT, Kazeem Kolawole Raji said he was deeply impressed with the full open architecture of PortaBilling, which allows enables NIGCOMSAT to seamlessly tie it into various back-office and VAS system. He admitted that this is “A true partnership approach where we are empowered to decide on how and who performs the integration within our system.” He also highlighted the benefits of the system as it helps to improve customer management, lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) and significantly reduces time-to-market for new services, such as VoIP, data multicasting, Digital Signage, IPTV, IoT, and many more. To make sure that NIGCOMSAT’s people learn the ins and outs of the system quickly and can take full advantage of the integration capabilities and API (Application Programming Interface), PortaOne provided on-site training for more than 100 of the company employees.

In line with the efforts to deepen its presence in the Nigerian market, PortaOne will be showcasing its range of unique services adapted for the Nigerian ICT and Telecoms market at Stand 13, NIGERIA COM trade show – from September 11-12, 2019 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel.

NigComSat sch visit
Secondary school students on excursion to NigComSat in Abuja recently. Photo: Business Hilights

Business Hilights gathered that PortaOne is a leading global vendor of BSS (Business Support System) and OCS (Online Charging System) PortaOne has been trusted by telecom operators, ISP and mobile operators for over 20 years.

Remarkably, its convergent software platform enables nearly 500 communications service providers and telcos in over 90 countries to improve customer management, lower their Total Cost of Ownership and significantly reduce time-to-market for new services, such as fixed and mobile voice, data, messages, Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), Internet of Things (IoT) and more.

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