MTN network expansion spending hits N2.5trillion

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By Alex C

MTN, Nigeria’s biggest telecommunications network, says that the total investment ploughed into network expansion initiatives, including fixed assets and facilities, over the last 13 years of operation is about N2.5trn ($15bn).

The telecoms company is however continuing its push for reasonably priced internet service for the entirety of the country’s populace, following the recent development of a massive fibre-optic data network.

MTN, the emerging market focused operator, which is also gearing up for license renewal by 2016 in Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy by GDP, is partnering with Alcatel-Lucent to open up Nigeria, to the benefits of ultra-broadband connectivity by launching a new superfast, 100 gigabit-per-second fibre-optic network.

The firm, which covers more than almost 90 percent of Nigeria’s land mass, will deploy a 100G network that re-uses existing 10G optical assets, preserving MTN past investments while ensuring future proof and state of art solution.

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says MTN controls 45 percent marketshare with 58.2 million mobile subscribers. The Company’s network covers 88.8 percent of the country’s land mass giving 86.2 percent of the population access to mobile services.

Market observers say the move by MTN is critical considering Nigeria’s growing economy, which is fuelling a proliferation of mobile subscribers, numbering about 275 to every one landline in the country.

As a result, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has a significant need for reliable, mobile broadband access to support growing demand for bandwidth hungry services such as streaming video, VoIP (Voice of Internet Protocol), IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), plus the ever-increasing need from enterprises for storage and data centre connections. The new network would gives MTN Nigeria the capacity and flexibility to offer wholesale services to other service providers in the region.

According to a recent document, MTN now has the most expansive network coverage, spread across 3,649 cities, town and villages in all 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

Alcatel-Lucent is supporting MTN Nigeria’s rapid growth in mobile subscribers by building a 100G DWDM/OTN network using Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) platform, a family of equipment that has been designed according to the latest international SD-FEC zero touch photonics and coherent technology. Alcatel-Lucent Agile Optical Networking combines WDM, OTN, and GMPLS/ASON control plane intelligence to assure scalable, versatile, reliable and efficient transport at 100G and beyond.

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