Airtel attains 20 million subscribers
TELECOMSBy BiztechAfrica - Aug. 8, 2012, 5:43 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Airtel Nigeria says it has achieved more than 20 million active subscribers in the country, a giant leap from the 14.5 million it was before it was acquired from Zain about two years ago.
Rajan Swaroop, managing director of the telco, who disclosed this today in Lagos, said Airtel had also spent some USD1.2 billion in upgrading and expanding the network capacity, which had resulted in improved network quality.
According to him, this high level of investment has resulted in this exponential growth in subscriber numbers.
Specifically, Swaroop said the launch of the 3.75 G in the country had revolutionised data and other services to the customers. He said the 3.75G service, initially to 74 towns, is now available in more than 150 communities in the country with more than 3000 3G base transmission stations (BTS). This, he said, is the largest on the continent.
“We are supporting the efforts of the Federal Government at expanding data broadband, data 3G to rural areas. We have services that are pocket friendly to our customers,” he said.
He said the telco now has the capacity to double its subscriber base without any fear of congestion, because it has redundant capacity.
“We have commissioned a world class data centre, deployed over 535 km fibre last year with another ongoing 2,070 km, our traffic has increased by 124% since acquisition, sub base by 31%,” he said.
He lamented the numerous challenges confronting the industry which he said is responsible for occasional hitches on the network.
“We experience an average of between 50-60 cases of lock-up sites monthly and experience an average of 70-80 fibre cuts monthly. Our operating cost (opex) shows over 80% as power generation in Nigeria remains erratic. We spend over N5 billion every month on power generation because some parts of the country are still not on the national power grid while on multiple taxation, there are more than 15 different taxes and levies paid to the three tiers of government,” he said.
He lamented that operators are currently saddled with several demand notices from all manner of agencies working for the various states, with threats of closure and arrest appended to them, adding that no single approval has been given for the installation of a BTS in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, since 2005.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
X Factor goes live in Ghana, NigeriaX Factor, the world’s number one singing reality TV show, which national operator Globacom brought to Africa for the first time in March, has gone on air. Read More
Glo highlights Biiiiig dealsGlo Mobile Ghana has highlighted its ‘Glo Biiiiig 5’, a new tariff plan on which all Glo customers instantly receive five times usage credit for every recharge made. Read More
New cable to connect TunisiaTunisiana and Orange Tunisie have signed a partnership agreement with Interoute for the commissioning of a submarine cable connecting the city of Kélibia, Tunisia to Interoute’s pan European fibre optic network. Read More
Smile launches true 4G in TanzaniaSmile Communications Tanzania has launched the first commercial Fourth Generation Long Term Evolution (4G LTE) broadband network in Tanzania Read More
Main One rebrands, repositionsMain One Cable Company has rebranded as Main One, and repositioned to expand its role in the telecoms market. Read More
Ethiopian mining venture drills into Q-KON for connectivity supportQ-KON has been selected as the preferred provider of connectivity services to Allana Potash Afar PLC, an Ethiopian subsidiary of a Canadian Corporation. Read More
GSMA opens Nairobi officeThe GSMA has opened a permanent office at the iHub in Nairobi, Kenya. Read More
Simplicity, transparency the wave of the future in telecom billingThe time is ripe for mobile providers to start looking at the central role that billing has to play in their customer strategies, says Consology. Read More
Swedish government in talks with Main OneA Swedish Government delegation has met Main One Cable Company for talks on possible business opportunities in Nigeria. Read More
FEATURED STORYICT opens doors for Kenyan slum dwellers
A Nairobi based group is equipping high school girls from Nairobi's slums with ICT skills to help them participate meaningfully in building the economy.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHBetting on the cloud
In Africa, an emerging ICT industry is betting its future on serving customers and businesses through cloud based applications, Riverbed Technology has told Biztechafrica.