Nigeria’s National Telecommunications Carrier, Globacom, has launched the country’s first ever comprehensive airport Wi-Fi facility in collaboration with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
With this development, passengers and other users of the airports will now be able to connect wirelessly to the internet through their smart phones, tablets, laptops and other smart devices.
The facility was formally commissioned by senior government officials led by the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Aviation, Hajia Binta Adamu Bello, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation, Captain Victor Iriobe, top Globacom, the Managing Directors of FAAN and National Airspace Management Agency, the Rector of Nigeria College of Aviation Technology and other dignitaries at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja on Monday.
Globacom’s Coordinator, Business Solutions, Mr. Ike Oraekwuotu, said Globacom was "delighted to bring Nigeria up to speed with one of the best trends in the aviation industry worldwide by introducing ultra high speed Wi-Fi data experience for travellers and other users of our airports, beginning with Nigeria’s flagship airport, the MMIA."
According to Oraekwuotu, the facility, which will be available at both the domestic and the international wings of key airports across the country, has been made possible due to the great vision and passion demonstrated by the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) working diligently with Globacom.
In a presentation, Globacom's Regional Chief Marketing Officer, Ashok Israni, said all passengers using the airport irrespective of the network they are on will be able to connect to the facility. They will subsequently be directed to a subscription page where they will be able to buy a Wi-Fi data plan through three options.
The options, according to him, include using an existing data plan the subscriber has with Globacom, or by recharging their line through a Glo recharge card available at the Glo kiosks at the airport, or by paying for the WIFI plan through a credit card.
“Whichever option a subscriber goes for, they are ushered into a world of reliable, ultra-fast internet so that they can keep in touch with their relatives, friends, colleagues and associates regardless of whether they are connected to a mobile network or not,” he said.
According to him, users can access the Internet at the speed of as much as 100 megabits per second anywhere around the MMIA, including the Departure, Arrival, and Executive Lounges, Ticketing and Waiting Areas as well as Passengers Welcoming lobby.
He said the service will be available in 22 airports nationwide soon.
While formally commissioning the facility, the Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka described the launch of the facility as a major milestone in Nigeria's march towards greatness, stressing that it constitutes one of the critical steps necessary for unleashing the latent energy of the nation towards unlocking the potential of the giant of Africa.
He commended Globacom for the hard work put into the project, acknowledging that several major obstacles were encountered along the way.
"I am happy that on the eve of my departure, this facility is up and running. We selected Globacom for this project based on nationalistic instinct and I'm proud we did because they have made the nation proud by delivering the project on time," he said.
He called on the company not to relent in its efforts to maintain the standard already set, and also take the service to the other locations on the project plan.
The Managing Director of FAAN, Engineer Saleh Dunoma in his own remarks said the launch was a realization of a commitment the minister of aviation made in order to improve passenger experience in the country.
He said one of the numerous complaints the authority had encountered was lack of internet connectivity at the airports. He urged Globacom to extend the coverage of the facility to the new buildings under construction when they are ready.