MTN starts work USD110m switch
TELECOMS| June 8, 2011, 2:17 p.m.
MTN Uganda has broken ground on a new, USD110 million switching centre in Kampala.
Officiating at the ground-breaking ceremony, MTN Chief Executive Officer Themba M. Khumalo and Roko Construction Chairman, Rainer Koehler, said the project would cost close to USD110 million in construction civil works, and telecommunications equipment.
“ The civil and switch installation works alone on the new switch will cost us an estimated USD6 million, which is more evidence of our commitment in ensuring that we give our subscribers in Uganda the best quality telecommunications services possible. The actual equipment to be installed in the Switch Room and the entire complex shall be in excess of USD100 million, Khumalo said.
MTN Uganda currently operates five switch centres, three of which are in Kampala at Mbuya and on Plot 44-45 Kampala road, and three Regional Switches in Mbarara, Masindi and Tororo.
“ The Mutundwe Switch will serve for about three to five years before it is at full capacity - especially at our rate of growth. We currently have 7 million subscribers on the MTN Network; 500 000 of whom have joined in the last three months. With our continued roll-out of highly innovative products and services we expect subscriber numbers and usage to increase significantly, but the number and nature of any future Switch Centres shall be dictated by the needs of the business, Khumalo added.
Khumalo said the new switching centre would allow for the network capacity to easily accommodate more than 10 million active subscribers.
“ This Switch will be the largest switch centre in the MTN Uganda Network. Construction will take nine months and we trust that it will be of the highest quality - which is why we have contracted M/S Roko Construction,” Khumalo added.
Last week, MTN Uganda also officially opened an ultra-modern Customer Service Centre at the Forest Mall, bringing its investments in Uganda closer to the USD1 billion mark since the company launched operations in 1998.
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