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 adds 275 cell sitesTigo Ghana is making additional network investments and expansions to meet demand for additional capacity across the country. Read More
Tigo Ghana rolls out new cell sitesTigo is rolling out new base stations to fill gaps in its 3G coverage and improve on its 2G coverage in Ghana. Read More
MainOne marks 5 yearsIn its five year existence, MainOne has invested over $300m in infrastructure in West Africa. Read More
MTN CEO restates commitment to educationThe Chief Executive Officer of MTN Nigeria, Mr. Michael Ikpoki, has restated the telco’s strong commitment to partnering with government to develop the education sector. Read More
VP commissions Huawei Seeds for the Future programmeGhana’s Vice President, H.E Paa Kwasi Amissah Arthur, has officially commissioned the Huawei Seeds for the Future Programme in Accra. Read More
IHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacityMohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos. Read More
More convenience for Airtel customers in Embu with new Airtel shopAirtel Kenya has opened a new Airtel shop in Embu town as part of the company’s aggressive expansion and upgrade plan. Read More
Nebula: You’re probably wasting 20% of your telecoms spendSouth African businesses are wasting up to 20% of their telecommunications spend every year, according to a new white paper by Nebula. Read More
Tigo CEO chairs Ghana Chamber of TelecommunicationsThe Governing Council of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunication has elected the Chief Executive Officer of Tigo Ghana Roshi Motman as the new Chair of the Chamber. Read More
FEATURED STORYIHS plans to inject fresh $500m to grow capacity
Mohammed Darwish, managing director of IHS Towers, says the firm will soon inject another $500million into the business after raising some $2.5billion to finance expansion drives. Darwish spoke with biztecafrica.com in Lagos.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAs curtain falls on MDGs, what next?
Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre, speaks to Biztechafrica about setting smart targets.