MTN Plans $1.3 Billion Facility Upgrade In 2013

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VENTURES AFRICA – MTN Nigeria, a subsidiary of Africa’s telecommunication giant, MTN Group, has expressed plans to invest $1.3 billion (N204 billion) on infrastructural upgrade in 2013 in a bid to serve subsribers better by offering hitch-free services.

According to MTN Nigeria CEO, Brett Goschen the need to ensure a reliable and hitch-free communication services becomes necessary as customer-centric services have become highly imperative for the sector to grow.

Speaking at the commissioning of its new customer experience centre, ‘MTN Y’ello City’ in Lagos Wednesday, Goschen said apart from the enormous investment that MTN was making with the roll out of several Yello City outlets such as this one, the company remains committed to improving its end-to-end customer experience “from the way we communicate our products, to the actual customer experience in any of our 16 service centres and 102 connect stores nationwide, to our network quality.”

“That is why we have invested $1.3 billion on the network in 2012 alone. This covers the extensive network optimisation and swap out exercise, which we embarked on in June 2012 and which is now at an advanced stage. And by 2013, we hope to double the investment by putting in another $1.3bn for infrastructure expansion,” he said.

The MTN Y’ello City was built to give the operator’s customers ready access to a wide selection of MTN products and data/ICT services in a conducive environment.

The MTN Y’ello City project also aim to significantly enhance MTN’s current network capacity, provide much improved quality of service to its customers, as well as make its base stations more environmentally-friendly through installing hybrid alternative energy solutions.

MTN Nigeria Customer Relations Executive, Akin Braithwaite, collaborated that “The Yello City Centre is much larger than our regular service outlets and also better positioned to provide ICT services and solutions.”

Goshen however said that “Delivering on a major project such as this is not without its challenges, and I want to seize this opportunity to apologize for its impact at various times on the quality of service offered on our network. We are working very hard to complete the exercise so that we can offer our customers the quality that they richly deserve.”

The telecoms giant CEO assured that new and potential customers who visit MTN Yellodrome Service Centre would receive personalised assistance from MTN’s in-house specialists who will always be on hand to provide useful information about its various products and services.

He added that “This could range from a bouquet of ICT services aimed at small, medium or large businesses, or our MTN Mobile Money service – which we operate in partnership with various reputable financial institutions and supervised by the Central Bank of Nigeria; or our other data products and services.”

Meanwhile, MTN reinstated its commitment to support the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) inspired mobile money model.

“We are supportive of any initiative that brings financial inclusion to the masses and the Central Bank’s efforts in this regard are highly commendable,” MTN’s Corporate Services Executive Akinwale Goodluck said in a statement.

According to him, “The world today is heavily dependent on ICT. Our future success as a company depends on how well we support services like mobile money.”

He added that “The current partnership between banks and telecommunications operators in the mobile money space leverages available cutting edge Information and Communications Technology (ICT) offered by the telecommunications operators and best practice payment protocols and expertise supervised by the CBN.”

With about 45 million customers, MTN is the largest telecommunication network service in Nigeria. It recently sold some of its shares to Shanduka Group, a South African black investment company.