MTN plans to invest Shs1 trillion in network coverage

Mr Wim Vanhelleputte, chief executive officer MTN announces the company’s Initial Public Offering at the Kampala Serena Hotel last week. Photo | Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Mr Ali Monzer, chief technology and information officer, MTN said the telecom is will invest $300 million (about Shs 1 trillion) in network coverage, eying among other things, deepening the 4G network footprint and ultimately the 5G network adaptation.

MTN Uganda is investing $300 million (about Shs1 Trillion) to bolster its services across the country to uphold Uganda’s vision 2040 and the 2018 National Broadband Policy.

This will be spread over a three-year period that commenced last year, to further consolidate its services across Uganda.

Mr Ali Monzer, chief technology and information officer, MTN said the telecom is will invest $300 million (about Shs 1 trillion) in network coverage, eying among other things, deepening the 4G network footprint and ultimately the 5G network adaptation.

“We have identified two clusters out of thirty that need additional coverage where there is a blind spot. and we have identified mainly an area on the highway coverage. Highway coverage we need to invest  more,” Mr Monzer said.

He added: “ If you go up country, for example, on a road from Lira to Kitgum, there are 120 Km of new roads getting developed. We are not there yet. You will be driving; you will sometimes see a losing signal. So we need to improve on those areas.”

The 2018 National Broadband Policy that emphasizes the role of broadband Internet in the socio-economic transformation process as a critical enabler and Uganda’s Vision 2040 that underscores the need for Uganda to re-orient itself to make ICT as the main driver of economic growth through ensuring ‘Connectivity for all.’

Customers at a mobile money kiosk in Kampala. PHOTO | FILE

 Expanding network

The telecom company aims to achieve 90 percent coverage of the country by the end of 2024 but with an eye on graduating more people to 4G networks to reduce costs for the customer.

“If I have a 3G network, on one cell I can only support 11 customers with one MP speed. But on the same cell ON LTE), I can support six times higher on a five-time higher speed. So pushing customers towards higher technology is better because the cost of production will drop and if the cost of production I will be able to reduce the cost,” he noted.

Mr Monzer further noted that the increasing adoption of digitisation in every sector as a way of conducting business has necessitated having a high-speed, reliable and universal internet connectivity that MTN Uganda is set to deliver as part of its commitment to leading innovations for Africa’s progress.

Meanwhile, MTN was awarded for the best network performance by Rohde and Schwarz, a global producer of communication testing and monitoring equipment.

Commenting about the company’s network performance score, Mr Wim Vanhelleputte, the MTN chief executive officer said: “This score is evidence of how much effort we have invested in delivering on our belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life. Such a performance encourages us to work even harder to extend top-notch services to our customers. The fact that we won this award in 2020 and won it again in 2022 shows our commitment to providing the very best services to our clientele.”

Mr Hanspeter Bobst, managing director of Rohde&Schwarz,  said the survey  has demonstrated an impressive and continuous improvement of network quality over the years, achieving the best network performance score since the beginning of the project.

Broadband Policy        

The 2018 National Broadband Policy that emphasizes the role of broadband Internet in the socio-economic transformation process as a critical enabler and Uganda’s Vision 2040 that underscores the need for Uganda to re-orient itself to make ICT as the main driver of economic growth through ensuring ‘Connectivity for all.’

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