• Monday, May 27, 2024
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BusinessDay

MTN moves to consolidate leadership in data service market

MTN

MTN, South Africa-based mobile operator, is looking to further strengthen its foothold on the data/internet services segment of Nigeria’s vibrant telecommunications market following the recent deployment of 100 gigabit-per-second fibre-optic network, according to wire reports.

MTN Nigeria, in strategic partnership with French telecoms equipment manufacturer, Alcatel-Lucent, is deploying a 100G network that re-uses existing 10G optical assets, thereby preserving MTN past investments while ensuring a future-proof and state of the art solution.

This move, according to market observers, is a massive indication that MTN, working aggressively to build up data services as an alternative source of revenue in an attempt to offset a steep decline in voice revenues, driven essentially by regulatory and competitive pressures.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) for voice services is expected to decline to $5 over the next five years, down from $6-$7 in April 2013 and $10 in 2008. The emerging markets focused company remains the leader in internet service delivery in terms of subscriber numbers. As at October 2013, South Africa’s MTN had a strong grip on Nigeria’s internet market with 29.3 million users, according to data by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Globacom, on the other hand, has 13.2 million data subcriptions, while India’s Airtel and UAE’s (United Arab Emirates) Etisalat have 9.6 million and 5.6 million internet users respectively. Lynda Saint-Nwafor, CTO of MTN Nigeria said, the telecoms company realised the need to upgrade its network to meet customer expectations for ultra-broadband connectivity and high reliability within Nigeria’s very competitive marketplace.

“We wanted a state of the art solution that met three main criteria: increased network reliability, a high degree of scalability to prepare the network for 400G and beyond, and preservation of our existing 10G investment. Alcatel-Lucent’s demonstrations showed that they could meet all of our criteria and we look forward to deploying the network overlay in 2014”, she added.

Speaking in the same vein, Hatim Zougari, country senior officer of Alcatel-Lucent in Nigeria, said: “We knew that MTN’s top priority was to provide reliability to their customers but they also wanted to offer ultra-broadband and they wanted to retain usefulness of as much of their legacy network as possible.”