MTN in nationwide network revamp
TELECOMS| June 7, 2012, 8:20 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
MTN Nigeria, said it has commenced a comprehensive network modernisation and swap-out exercise that is expected to cover its extensive network across the country over a span of nine months. The exercise will entail upgrading and replacing key network components with newer versions for enhanced capacity and much improved quality of service.
MTN Nigeria Corporate Services Executive, Wale Goodluck, said at a press forum in Lagos that the project had been in the pipeline for several months, during which intensive planning took place.
“Our local team, working closely with our technical partners and experts, began work in April. They have done much of the back end work, preparatory to the actual swapping of network components in the days ahead,” said Goodluck.
He said the massive project involving three technical partners, Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE, would be carried out at night to minimise impact on the quality of service The exercise will be done in clusters, so that select base transceiver stations (BTS) in disparate parts of the country would undergo simultaneous upgrade to further ensure that the negative impact of the exercise is brought to a bare minimum.
He said while there may be slight inconveniences to subscribers in certain areas, especially at night, during the implementation of the project, customers would be ushered into a new era of enhanced service quality upon the completion of the project.
According to him, sporadic network congestion episodes brought on by unusual congregation of subscribers in a particular location as a result of sporting events, religious events or traffic gridlock could be instantly resolved remotely from MTN's network monitoring and management office.
“The network modernisation and swap-out project is part of the USD1.3 billion investment we have earmarked for 2012, and this investment, like many we’ve consistently made since our inception, is in pursuit of world-class quality of service on our network. We are delighted that this project brings us within a grasping distance of the mark”, said Goodluck.
Delving into the details of the project, MTN Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Lynda Saint-Nwafor, said the modernisation and swap-out exercise would affect all aspects of the network from radio to transmission and core network. She said all legacy equipment older than 10 years is being removed and replaced with state-of-the-art equipment, with much better capacity and flexibility.
She added that even the power generation would be improved, as the operator would be swapping existing power systems at most of the sites with hybrid power systems which are environment-friendly. According to her, the company should have about 4000 sites on hybrid power system by the end of the year, up from the current 2000 sites.
Also as part of the massive project, Saint-Nwafor disclosed that a contract had been signed with end-to-end telecommunications solutions provider, Ericsson, to optimise 3000 base transceiver stations across the country. At the end of the exercise, the BTS will operate at peak performance, significantly improving customer experience on the network, she added.
he explained that in some locations, especially where security situation would not allow her team to work at night, there will be temporary service difficulties in the course of swapping equipment and optimising the network. She implored customers in such areas to bear with the company, assuring that such temporary pains would usher in a new era of enjoyable services and thrilling experience.
At the press conference were other top officials of the company, including Funmilayo Omogbenigun, GM, Corporate Affairs, Dr. Victor Oduguwa, GM, Capital Programmes Group (CPG), and David Melaiye, Senior Manager, CPG, among others.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
SMEs in Central and Western Regions to benefit from Vodafone Business SolutionsSmall and Medium Scale Enterprises in the Central and Western Region starting this week will have access to the services of Vodafone Business Solutions, the enterprise arm of Vodafone Ghana. Read More
Airtel unveils Ksh19bn investment planAirtel Kenya has announced an ambitious investment programme totaling Kshs.19 billion over the next 3 years. Read More
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
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.