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MTN Nigeria: Powering connections via first-class technology



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MTN Nigeria has put the $3.4bn NCC fine behind it. The largest telecom operator in Nigeria has since reinforced its commitment to providing a first-class network quality service to its over 50 million subscribers. ODUNEWU SEGUN writes

DESPITE the outstanding $3.4 billion (N780) fine issued on MTN Nigeria by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) that nearly crippled its operations, the company has emerged from the crisis stronger, maintaining its leadership role in the Nigerian telecom sector.

With a customer base of about 60 million subscribers, 15 Service centres, 144 Connect Stores and 247 Connect Points located in every state of the federation, MTN Nigeria is not just the largest network in Nigeria, but also the biggest of the MTN Group’s subsidiaries.
Since it commenced operation in Nigeria in 2001, MTN Nigeria has led the growth in the voice market to become the biggest mobile operator in Nigeria and West Africa. It is now pursuing new growth opportunities in the data and ICT space.

The raising of its capital expenditure to $1 billion from the previous $700 million by the parent company, MTN Group is also likely to boost its network-service as well the rolling out of a 4G offering.

The recent acquisition of Visafone, the last surviving code division multiple access (CDMA) in Nigeria, is a pointer to its determination of playing big in the broadband services.

According to its CEO, Ferdi Moolman, MTN Nigeria has started looking at 4G and Visafone had frequency which allows it to do this extension. “So if we want to start rolling out 4G and we want to take better services to the public we had to acquire a platform that will enable us do this,” he said.

While it add value through its numerous products and services, MTN Nigeria said it is also committed to adding value by ensuring good corporate governance which has earned it commendation from various arms of government.

Being the largest network provider in Nigeria did not come on a platter of gold. It is as a result of consistent re-engineering, providing quality services, connecting people with friends, family, opportunities and constantly coming out with value-added services that truly enrich customers’ lives.

MTN Nigeria’s massive investment in coverage areas, expansion and state of the art infrastructure also play significant role in this phenomenal growth. With well over $12 billion invested in fixed assets and facilities nationwide resulted in MTN having expansive network coverage, spread across 3,340 cities, towns and villages in all 36 states of the Federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). MTN also provides network coverage to 89.24% of Nigeria’s land mass.

Barely two years after it commenced business operation, MTN invested about $120 million to building the largest digital microwave transmission backbone-the Y’elloBahna, a 4,500-kilometre project. The length of the entire digital macrowave transmission backbone currently stands at 11,400km, interconnecting with Cameroon in Borno and Cross River States and with Niger Republic in Sokoto State.

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This project, in terms of distance and capacity is Africa’s most extensive digital transmission infrastructure and has significantly contributed to enhancing call quality on its network. Similarly, it has also deployed 11,500km fibre-optic cables across Nigeria to boost the transmission capacity on its network.


MTN Nigeria’s network switch centre is also the largest, capable of handling calls from up to 8 million subscribers at a time. Its network is coordinated from one hundred and seventeen (117) switches spread across the country in the following order: Lagos (25), Abuja (13), Asaba (15), Kano (12), Port Harcourt (7), Ibadan (12), Owerri (13), Kaduna (6), Enugu (9) and Benin (5).

No wonder on February 10, 2003, it became the first mobile company in Nigeria to record 1-million active subscribers on its network. It was also the first operator to pay for a 3.5G license and also the first to launch the service in 2007. Most importantly, in offering unparalleled services, it was the first telecom operator to build a record 10,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) in Nigeria.

As a pioneer and leader in the industry, MTN has also recorded several notable firsts, which have positioned its operations and activities as a point of reference for the telecoms industry and the business community in Nigeria and Africa.

In the area of giving back to the society, MTN Nigeria has also set the standard. It was the first Nigerian telecom operator to establish a foundation that put smiles on the faces of Nigerians by investing in sustainable projects spanning education, economic empowerment, health and entertainment.

The MTN Foundation has invested over N10 billion in carrying out projects in 338 project sites across the 36 States of Nigeria as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.