The board of ntel, Nigeria’s first 4G/LTE-Advanced network, has appointed Ernest Akinlola as its substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer. Ernest is a senior executive with 20+ years extensive experience in telecoms media & technology. He joined the fledgling One 2 One telecoms operator in the UK and was instrumental in establishing a world class internal audit and compliance department.
As Head of Department he led the assessment and subsequent launch of Virgin Mobile UK on the One 2 One network which proved to be the pioneering MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) at the time. Following One 2 One’s acquisition by T-Mobile, Ernest was a key member on the integration team, leading on commercial strategy and growing the wholesale side of the business to launch several MVNO’s focused on specific customer segments.
He was an integral member of the team charged with executing Virgin Mobile’s $1.5bn IPO. Many senior roles followed including leading the transformational roll out of T-Mobile’s store retail programme. Following this notable success in Europe, Ernest focused on Nigeria’s telecoms sector and was approached to lead a major marketing drive for Etisalat (9 Mobile), the 4th entrant in a highly competitive telecoms market.
As Marketing Director, he spearheaded a range of initiatives that took Etisalat from the 4th ranked operator to the 2nd, in terms of ARPU and active customer base. Immediately prior to joining ntel, Ernest was a strategic consultant to several blue chip organisations including Blackberry Nigeria, the World Bank, and most recently provided strategic oversight to Swazi Mobile in formulating a commercial strategic plan for the successful application of a 4G VoLTE, 3g ,2g licence in Swaziland, South Africa.
This has underpinned the impressive growth of Swazi Mobile in less than 3 months of operations. Commenting on his new appointment, Akinlola said: “I am excited to be appointed MD/CEO of ntel, Nigeria’s pre-eminent 4G/LTE network. ntel has tremendous untapped capabilities which can provide a step change in customer experience for Large Enterprise, SME’s and Consumers. I look forward to leading the team in driving innovation and delighting our current and future customers”