Airtel attains 20 million subscribers
TELECOMS| 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
Baudin leaves Orange BotswanaOrange Botswana CEO Phillippe Baudin has resigned from the company just one year into his three year contract. Read More
Econet steps up Ebola responseEconet Wireless has been working quietly behind the scenes with various government departments, including the Ministry of Health and Child Care, to prepare Zimbabwe for any possible outbreak of Ebola. Read More
Political uncertainty holds back North African telecomsSocial and political uncertainty is hampering investment in telecoms in North African countries such as Algeria, Libya and Egypt in spite of the evident opportunities, says Frost & Sullivan. Read More
AUC expands connectivity services with Emerging Markets CommunicationsEmerging Markets Communications (EMC) has announced that the African Union Commission (AUC) has expanded its connectivity services with the company in Africa and renewed its existing contract. Read More
Mixed growth in Kenyan telecomsThe latest industry data released by the Communications Authority of Kenya indicates growth in some areas and a decline in others. Read More
BlackBerry Passport unveiled in NigeriaBlackBerry Limited has launched the BlackBerry Passport, a new device built for productivity, in Nigeria. Read More
Etisalat’s subscriber figures top 20 millionEtisalat Nigeria has announced that its active subscribers figures have now reached 20 million, upp from 17 million in December last year. Read More
Over 2,000 entrepreneurs become Glo Xchange agentsNigerian carrier Globacom has signed up over 2,000 entrepreneurs as agents for its massive mobile money initiative. Read More
Econet: diversification pays offEconet Wireless Zimbabwe says its strategy to steer the business towards value added services is beginning to bear fruit, as its overlay services showed strong growth in the half year to August 2014. Read More
FEATURED STORYGrowing African focus on data security
Beachhead Solutions’ new SA and Mauritius country manager explains the challenges and solutions around securing customer data and compliance with new personal information legislation.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSSchneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communitie
Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20,000 Africans by the end of this year.SAP accelerates shift to the Cloud with 41% revenue growth in third quarter
SAP has once again raised its revenue outlook, reporting broad market adoption of SAP HANA and its ‘Run Simple’ strategy validated.