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MTN plans upgrade of 5,528 sites in Nigeria

By on March 14, 2013

AS part of its 2013 targets, telecommunications service provider, MTN said that it would upgrade about 5,528 of its sites across the country.

MTN, which claimed to have already modernised and upgraded 4,615 sites, explained that the new upgrading was aimed at improving the various services it offered in the country.

According to the Corporate Service Executive, MTN Nigeria, Akinwale Goodluck, in an interaction with journalists in Lagos, MTN also planned to build 5000 2G and 4000 3G Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in the country.

Goodluck disclosed that despite investments in various infrastructures by MTN and other telecommunications service providers, they are not enough to carry the present level of traffic. He said that the various damages and destructions to fibre cables, BTS and other facilities recently across the country compounded the challenge of improved quality of service.

The MTN Executive said that about 13.1 billion rand (around $1.5 billion) of the total MTN Group’s Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) of 29 billion rand (over $3 billion) for this year would be spent on network expansion for its Nigerian market.

The group’s allocation to its Nigeria operation for 2013 is the highest in all its over 20 countries of operations.

Goodluck, who recalled that $1.3 billion was used as CAPEX for MTN Nigeria in 2012, said that Nigeria was still favoured in the current year with by taking the lion share of the group’s total capital expenditure.

According to him, the current $1.5 billion was directed at network expansion such as the building more base stations and fibre transmissions across the country.

He also said that the fresh investment would allow the over 45 million telecoms subscribers on MTN Nigeria’s network to enjoy improved access voice and data services with better coverage.

Goodluck informed that MTN Nigeria did not only fully capitalise its $1.3 billion CAPEX for 2012 but also used the $300 million carryover CAPEX for 2011 to embark on its soon-to-be-completed network modernisation and swapping exercise which began early last year.

Speaking on the firm’s data business in the country, which according to leading network infrastructure provider—Cisco would present huge opportunities for service operators in Nigeria and other African markets, Goodluck said: “Looking at MTN Nigeria, we continue to grow our voice network and also grow our data business at 100 per cent rate yearly. The data business is going to be a lot more significant than voice.”

Confirming the readiness of the network for Mobile Number Portability, Goodluck said that the company was positioned to do well with MNP whenever NCC gave the go ahead, stressing that the process would give greater freedom to subscribers.