MTN earmarks US$160m to deploy infrastructure expansion

Selorm Adadevoh

MTN Ghana is investing over US$160million into its operational expansion and improvement project in 2019 as against US$144 million last year, its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Selorm Adadevoh, has said.

The company, as part of its broad-based expansion drive, is deploying 350 new greenfield and 100 rural sites across all regions, while the 3G network is being rolled out to 277 new sites. The fibre rollout will involve 368km of fibre-to-site while fibre broadband coverage expansion will cover 45,000 new homes.

Speaking at an Editors Forum in Accra, Mr. Adadevoh said: “MTN has deployed a total of 1,092 4G LTE sites at the end of March 2019, out of which 600 are 4G+ sites in different parts of the country – especially regional capitals and key towns – and plans for full national coverage are currently ongoing”.

The 2019 expansion will cover technology development and infrastructure, and include rolling out new Long-Term Evolution (LTE) sites at over 300 locations and upgrading them to over 2600MHz in 600 co-locations; as well as existing site-capacity upgrades of 814 of the 2G platform and 560 of the 3G network.

On the growth prospects, he said the company posted a landmark growth for the year 2018 on strong performance on three key service areas which were Mobile money, data, and voice revenues – adding that during the year under review MTN Ghana recorded +60.3% and +30.2% of mobile money and data revenues respectively, while voice revenue surged to 15.1%.

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All these contributed significantly to growth and increased its contribution to total revenue of the company to 17.7%.

The reported earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin declined year-on-year by 2.2 percentage points to 37.6%, following introduction of the management fee agreement that took effect on 1 May 2018.

The growth in mobile money, data, and voice revenues were influenced by the huge investments the telecoms giant made into those sections of its operations.

He assured customers of more exciting products and services this year, as it plans to invest hugely in technology infrastructure.

“The company cherishes the patronage of its customers, and that is imperative to giving them quality service for their loyalty. MTN will continue to put in extra efforts to come out with innovative products and services that will meet customer needs.”

He used the occasion to unveil MTN TurboNet, an instant high-speed Internet product.

“As part of our 4G campaign, we have launched a turbonet as a pilot that allows you to have a wireless box for Internet at home. In the past we had to dig fibre in the ground all the way to people’s doorsteps, but today you can pick up a box in our office and you can plug it at home to have access to Internet with fibre,” he stated.

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He said though the product has not been commercially launched, over 7,000 boxes have already been sold.

Apart from quality network experience, he said, MTN Foundation is also making significant impacts on the lives of Ghanaians by executing various projects in the areas of health, education and economic empowerment.

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