MTN, Etisalat unveil investment plans to improve services


Two Global System of Mobile communication operators, MTN Nigeria and Etisalat Nigeria, have said they will invest billions of dollars to improve on the quality of their services in the country amidst complaints from customers of poor quality of service.
While MTN said it would spend about $1.2bn (N216bn) to upgrade its network this year, Etisalat said its network rollout across Nigeria would continue this year with the $1.2bn medium-term syndicated loan facility it secured from a consortium of banks in 2013.
The two other GSM operators, Globacom and Airtel Nigeria, did not respond to enquiries by our correspondent on what they planned to spend this year to improve the quality of their services.
MTN said it had invested $15bn (N2.8tn) in the last 13 years (average of $1.2bn yearly) on network infrastructure in the country.
The telecommunications company said the pattern would not be different in 2015 and that it had continued to spend “aggressively” in building and upgrading its network infrastructure across Nigeria.
“No operator has spent more,” the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Ms Funmi Onajide, said in an emailed response on Wednesday.
The Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat Nigeria, Mr. Matthew Wilshere, had said in an earlier interview, “Beyond and above several investments we have made after our entry into Nigeria; in May 2013, we announced the signing of a $1.2bn medium-term syndicated loan facility with a consortium of banks to continue our network rollout across Nigeria.”
He noted that since the firm began operation in the country in 2008, it had continued to invest in building and expanding its network to ensure that it delivered quality services to customers.
Wilshere said, “As we make investment in our network, we also invest in our people, who are the most important asset to us.
“We aim to continue to focus on our network expansion, our investment in 3G, as well as ensuring we offer the uncompromising network quality and customer service our customers have come to expect from us as their network of choice.”
He stated that Etisalat had been severally commended for the quality of services it rendered to Nigerian subscribers.
“For instance, the other operators were banned for a time and fined because of their network quality, whereas Etisalat was seen as delivering overall quality that met the required standards of the regulator. We will continue to build and expand our network, invest in upgrading and expanding our network and capacity in order to meet the communications need of our customers,” Wilshere added.
Onajide said MTN’s concentration of capital and “immense confidence” in the country underscored the premium it placed on customer satisfaction and efforts to provide good quality services.
“The infrastructural challenges that negate consistent good quality of service are well known and still remain,” she added.

 SOURCE: The Punch


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