Floods, insecurity slow USD1.3bn MTN project
TELECOMS| Oct. 23, 2012, 9:25 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The massive network modernisation and swap-out exercise being implemented by MTN Nigeria, the country's largest mobile operator, as a part of its USD1.3bn 2012 total capital expenditure (capex), is being challenged by the flood disaster and the increasing wave of insecurity in some parts of the country.
Akinwale Goodluck, the telco's Corporate Services Executive, disclosed this during a media interaction in Lagos to update its subscribers on the ongoing project
Goodluck, who appealed for patience on the part of the over 44 million MTN subscribers and other stakeholders, who have been experiencing service hitches on the MTN network, said the various activities related to MTN network moderrnisation were progressing steadily.
"We regret, however, that the pace of work has been considerably challenged by the spate of insecurity coupled with the unprecedented flooding being experienced in many parts of the country," he said.
The network optimisation exercise will affect over 4, 000 base stations of over 10, 000 across the country.
According to Goodluck: "The task that we are undertaking is tantamount to building a new network. We are seeking to replicate what we achieved over a six period in nine months."
Goodluck explained that considerable progress has been recorded with regard to the ongoing network improvement plans, stressing that several swap-outs have reached very advanced stages of completion.
"The entire network modernisation process is a very logistic-intensive one and the problem of insincerity has seriously affected the pace of work in some parts of the country," he said.
Goodluck noted that in at least 13 states, flooding has created additional logistic impediments, resulting in the slowing down of the pace of the ongoing network modernisation efforts.
While acknowledging that MTN's customers had been experiencing some disruptions over the last few weeks, Goodluck said: "We sincerely express our thanks to our customers for their patience," pledging that as much as possible, MTN would stick to its original plan of carrying out the network procedures only at night, with a view to minimising disruptions to services.
He also assured that MTN was doing everything possible, including doubling its work teams, to finalise the project as quickly as possible, even as he pointed out that, because of the current challenges the exercise may have to conclude by first quarter of 2013.
The project, which began in July, 2012, was expected to cover the entire country and was originally expected to span a period of nine months.
"It is a massive investment we are making to boost not only the quality of telephone services, but also to enhance the back-end information and communication technology support which we provide for banking and financial services, the oil industry and several other industries across Nigeria," Goodluck said.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
Tigo supports 19th Ghana journalist awardsMobile Network Operator Tigo Ghana has presented 10 tablets valued at GHC20,000 to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) towards the annual Journalist Awards scheduled to take place at the Banquet Hall, State House, Accra. Read More
Africell DRC to launch 3G services end-2014Africell DRC is set to launch its 3G services at the end of the year, a source close to the company told Biztechafrica this week. Read More
The impact of Movitel on ICT in MozambiqueMovitel is reported to be contributing to changing the information communication landscape in Mozambique. Read More
SSA telecoms growing faster than any other regionThe African telecoms market is set to be one of the main growth success stories for the telecoms sector in the next 5 years, according to a new report. Read More
Tigo introduces unified short code for products and servicesTigo Ghana has announced the installation of a world-class IVR (Interactive Voice Response) that will give both its pre-paid and post-paid customers the opportunity to access all its product through a unified short code, 555. Read More
TNM to conduct biggest promotion pay-outTNM will on August 26 splash out over K100 million in its Ufulu@50 Promotion, the biggest payout in a single day in the history of promotions in Malawi. Read More
We don’t patronise fake OEMs, says GloGlobacom has said it does not patronise substandard original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and telecoms equipment vendors. Read More
Africell DRC waits ‘in vain’ for interconnectionAfricell, which began operations in the DRC in June 2012, has yet to enjoy interconnection. Read More
Telecom Namibia: WACS repairs to start this weekendRepair work on the West Africa Cable System (WACS) off Namibia’s coast is scheduled to start over the weekend, says Telecom Namibia. Read More
FEATURED STORYNigeria’s VAS providers ‘on brink of extinction’
WASPAN chief Simon Aderinlola says unless the regulator intervenes, WASPAN may not have anything left to regulate. Kokumo Goodie reports.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya rolls out e-extension to improve agriculture
In a bid to curb the overwhelmed number of agricultural extension officers in Kenya, the ministry of agriculture is embracing technology with their introduction of E-Extension services, which are aimed at reaching out to over 7 million farmers annually.
COMPANY NEWSSage CRM is Umsinsi Health Care’s engine for growth
Umsinsi Health Care, a distributor of medical products, has enhanced customer service and streamlined its business processes by implementing Sage CRM as its customer relationship management platform.