Graphic Business News

MTN devotes US$160m for infrastructure expansion this year

By: Charles Benoni Okine
Mr Selorm Adadevoh addressing the stakeholders
Mr Selorm Adadevoh addressing the stakeholders

THIS year, Ghana’s leading telecoms operator, MTN Ghana, will invest US$160 million to improve its existing technology and infrastructure.

The move is meant to, among other things, enable the company to deliver the best of services to its more than 20 million customers.

It is also meant to fully optimise MTN’s latest Fourth Generation Plus (4G+) network which was recently launched in Accra, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Selorm Adadevoh, said.

He made the disclosures during an interaction with MTN’s major stakeholders, including media editors and industry regulators.

Mr Adadevoh said this year’s investment was higher than the US$144 million invested into infrastructure last year.

Making reference to the company’s theme: ‘Year of the Customer,’ for 2019, Mr Adadevoh admitted to the constant request by customers for better services and noted that “as a company, we are aware that we have to keep improving our network so we do not leave our customers behind but give them what they want.”

He said feedbacks from customers were well intended and the company will continue to listen to deliver quality to meet their aspiration.

The CEO made reference to the  MTN TurboNet, which is currently being piloted, with over 7,000 boxes already sold.

The MTN TurboNet is a plug and play super high speed 4G internet router. It comes with a high-powered external antenna and data SIM that enables it to deliver fast internet in MTN 4G locations.

The TurboNet provides instant high speed internet for up to 32 users at the same time.To enjoy the service, users’ location must be within MTN’s 4G coverage. The TurboNet is suitable for home or office use.

Tech deployment
The Chief Technical Officer at the company, Mr William Tetteh said the investments to enahcne technology was meant to ensure faster speed for customers using MTN’s data services.

“MTN has deployed a total of 1,092 4G LTE sites at the end of March 2019 out of which 600 sites are 4G+ in different parts of the country, especially regional capitals and key towns,” he said.

According to him, plans for full national coverage was ongoing to ensure that every customer anywhere in the country could be able to enjoy fast speed Internet to enhance their businesses and lifestyles.

He said it was regrettable that while the company continued to invest in latest technology, road and drain contractors and estate developers continued to cut the company’s fibre with careless abandon.

Mr Tetteh said the impact of the fibre cuts on the players in the industry was alarming and that mostly affected customers access to quality, adding “much as we have buck-ups in many areas to support the system to avoid interruptions to customer service, the multiple nature of the cuts affected the company’s ability to deliver.

He gave the assurance, however, that many engagements are being done behind the scenes to help address the menace once and for all to avoid such disruptions to customers.

Financial inclusion
The head in charge of MTN Mobile Money, Mr Eli Hini, also touted the company’s contributions to the financial inclusion drive of the government.

He said with its Mobile Money (MoMo) services, many people who never engaged in any financial transactions through the formal system were doing so.

Mr Hini said the company, through its MoMo services, had also partnered companies such as Western Union to enable Ghanaians living abroad to remit foreign currencies to the country.

“Last year alone, we saw remittances through our system to the turn of about US$90 million and that is expected to grow. We hope by this, we are contributing to stabilise the cedi”, he said.