Don't Miss

Airtel invests $3.5bn on technology expansion nationwide

By on September 15, 2013

The Regional Operations Director, West region of Airtel, Mr. Oluwasegun Macaulay, has disclosed that, as at the end of March this year, the telecoms giant has invested a total sum of $3.5 billion on its technology expansion across the nation, to boost quality service on its network to customers.

Macaulay disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara state while unveiling new service to its customers in the state tagged, ‘Close Cluster Group’. According to him, “We have the whole nation covered now; those times and moments when and where calls dropped, are over”.

He said, “Like 18 months back, you realise the kind of services you were getting; today it is not the same you are getting now, calls were dropping. In fact if you are sitting in front of me, I cannot call you. So we had brought in the technology and we had actually mapped the country and seen where these challenges were coming from. It was actually a congestion issue. So, we spent that money in capacity expansion and we had also spent that money in acquiring new technology.”

He added, “Before then nobody was on that 3G level. We didn’t bring Nigeria 3G, we went further to bring 3.75G, so that is extra and we are the only company at that level now. The G enables you to do a lot of things that you couldn’t do with only voice; it enables you to stream. So, if you sit down there and you want to watch the last match of Arsenal here, you can stream and get that match without any stress.”

“Nigeria is classified as a growing economy and a growing nation; we need to be ahead of the population growth to make sure we have capacity ready for use. If you still find a network that is probably in that situation that we were before, it’s because they are congested; they have more subscribers than they are expanding.

“So we have excess capacity; as we speak to you now, we are ready for the next five years generation of Nigeria and we have excess capacity on our hand and we have also invested into what we call HD. HD is Higher Definition, it is what your television is using where you can have a resolution as if you are on a pitch”, he stressed.

On the challenges being experienced by the telecoms outfit, the Regional Director said, “We have challenges, but this is not peculiar to us, it is peculiar to the country and anybody who is into industry or manufacturing in the country and basically it is about power and it is around insecurity.”

He said, “Power is a challenge and that is why if we get our power right we would be able to bring down the cost of telecoms. This is one of the countries where you have to put up your BTS, Basic Transmission Station we see every day, some call it masts, we call it BTS. This is one of the countries where you have to put that BTS up and you have to power it by private power source. So you have to fuel the generator 24/7 because once power goes, it has to come up by itself.”

Macaulay explained, “And then because of the insecurity, you have to put security personnel there 24/7 and whatever community you put up the BTS, you have to also take care of the community. So, first and foremost wherever there is a BTS, you have to put a floodlight to the community because it is powered 24/7, so why don’t you give some light to the community for security reasons. I can’t tell you how many generators we use in a month; it would blow your mind.”

He therefore called on the government to rise up to the issue of power supply and insecurity so as to accelerate the economic growth of the nation and also to reduce the tariff being charged by the telecoms outfits in the country.



[This Day]