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Visafone Nigeria joins OMH initiative

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Visafone yesterday agreed to comply with the CDMA Development Group’s (CDG) Open Market Handset (OMH) initiative, becoming the first operator in Africa supporting OMH devices, if plans go ahead smoothly, reports the country’s Vanguard publication.

The operator is currently undergoing a new phase of network development in partnership with Qualcomm Incorporated. If Visafone goes OMH, this will mean offerings of SIM cards separately from handsets and therefore more freedom of choice when purchasing a handset. Moreover, the agreement will entitle the operator to support OMH devices across CDMA ecosystem.

“OMH increases CDMA handset variety, as it creates a framework where vendors can distribute handsets across many different markets, said R. Balachandran, Managing Director and CEO of Visafone.

Basically, what OMH does is to allow subscribers to purchase a handset and a SIM card of their choice from the preferred CDMA provider. Therefore, Visafone subscribers will continue use their existing data services when switching phones, as all data will be supported by other OMH handsets. Already available in India, OMH handsets are expected in Nigeria during the first half of next year.

Visafone Communications Ltd) was born out of the strategic acquisition of three CDMA mobile network operators that had been in operation for up to 8 years, with 30,000 subscribers and coverage in different parts of Nigeria. The company offers mobile, fixed and other telecommunications service to its now over 3 million subscribers, after its launch in February 2008.

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