Lagos – Mobile phone operator MTN is intensifying its investment in improving quality data and voice service despite severe threats posed by Boko Haram terrorists to its installations in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) recently slapped mobile phone operators MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel with a total fine of exceeding N200 million for poor quality service to the nation.
Responding to questions from CAJ News, MTN Nigeria's Public Relations and Protocol Manager, Funso Aina, said MTN Nigeria would continue investing in the network and installing new base stations across the country.
"MTN Nigeria has continued to record significant improvements in quality of service owing to the successful implementation of the network and optimisation exercise which commenced mid-2012.
"To date, 4,700 base stations have been modernised and upgraded. We are inthe final stages of the project and we expect to have modernized 5 500 base stations at its conclusion," said Aina.
Aina said MTN Nigeria expended in excess of $1.3 billion inthe network over the last two years.
"We will capitalize a similar figure. However, the infrastructural and environmental challenges which impede consistent quality of service remainand this will continue to impact the full realisation of the benefits of increased roll out," Aina said.
Last month MTN Group President and Chief Executive, Sifiso Dabengwa, outlined massive investments in the network.
"Nigeria negatively impacted the Group's overall margin performance but has enjoyed an improvement in the fourth quarter which we expect to continue during 2013.
"We delivered on our commitment to shareholders and customers to accelerate our network rollout, with 7 168 (3 685 2G and 3 483 3G) sites delivered during the year, a significant improvement on the 4 126 sites completed in 2011.
"In an effort to accelerate our 2013 capex investment programme, the reported capex for 2012 includes some equipment delivered for part of the 2013 rollout. We believe this will be a key factor in securing our continued growth over the medium term," Dabengwa said.
Recently, Nigeria's director of public affairs at the Nigeria Communications Commission, Tony Ojobo, said the fines meted on MTN, Globacom, Etisalat and Airtel were not punitive arguing that they were targeted at improving service quality in the country.
- CAJ News