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    Assessing Mobile Data Routing Capabilities

    06 Aug 2020

    As voice service reached its peak in the telecoms sector, mobile data service has become the new resource and the new oil that will drive the global telecoms sector and economies.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has also thrown open the relevance of mobile data at a time when individuals, businesses, government and all sectors of the economy, need data connectivity to stay online and connect online.
    At a time like this, where majority of businesses and government agencies are getting connected to the internet through data connectivity, the data service providers are also striving to enhance the experience of their mobile data customers and have strategic edge over their competitors.

    In 2001 when Mobile Networks Operators (MNOs) rolled out mobile phone communication services, the battle for market share was fierce, and was mainly characterized by voice communication services. At that time, MTN captured the larger chunk of the voice market, a position it maintained till date, with a current market share of 39.61 per cent, followed by Globacom with a current market share of 27.12 per cent, and Airtel with a current market share 26.83 per cent. 9mobile, the fourth telecoms operator offering GSM services, has a current market share of 6.37 per cent.

    GSM technology evolution for voice communication first started with 2G technology and later advanced to 2.5G, 3G, before Smile pioneered 4G LTE, which came with higher speed of connectivity, higher download and upload speeds. It also supported higher definition video either from TV or from video conferencing.
    When it got to its peak, mobile communications started shifting towards data, a development that raised the demand for data services, over and above voice services. The shift compelled data service providers to start offering robust data services, with lots of mouth-watering promotional products and services.
    The effectiveness of their services, however depends on their robust mobile data devices powered by the best technology, through which data services are offered.

    4G LTE technology

    The speed of connectivity, coupled with the upload and download capacities, is largely depended on the kind of technology deployed and the sophistication of the equipment used in deploying the technology.
    The quality of mobile data service is majorly dependent on the product types with particular reference to Routers and MIFIs, which are the gadgets from which signals are transmitted to address network connectivity that will meet customers’ needs.

    Data connectivity could be enabled on different platforms, but on the 4G network, the Long Term Evolution (LTE), also known as 4G LTE is the standard set for high-speed wireless communication for smartphones, tablets, netbooks, notebooks and wireless hotspots terminals in Nigeria.
    4G LTE is more than 10 times faster than 3G and 4G LTE averages up to 1,000Megabits per second (Mbps) while actual use may be in the region of 100 Mbps.

    While Smile, Spectranet, Swift and iPNx are at the forefront in offering “4G LTE” in Nigeria, mobile network operators (MNOs) such as Airtel, Glo, MTN, ntel, joined the race, much later, a development that later deepened data service offerings in the country.

    4G LTE devices

    Routers and Mi-Fi are the types of connectivity devices used by mobile data service providers that account for their performance levels. For instance, high standard 4G LTE equipment depends on the model, item height and width, wireless type and depth of the Routers or the Mi-Fi.
    Again their weight, control, power supply, user connection, operating system (OS), and number of connections, range, modem speed, frequency, security and antennae capacity, determine the strength of the equipment to deliver quality service.

    A mobile Wi-Fi, allows users to connect multiple devices like smartphones and laptops to a single 4G data SIM and get online anywhere at any time as long as there is a steady telecom signal.
    Unlike smartphone’s data capabilities, Mi-Fi and Routers are designed with strong signal capabilities to the point that the device can rarely slip to 2G unless in a remote area. A Mi-Fi simply implements a minimal router interface unlike the rest of the two routers.

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