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23 December, at 10 : 04 AM Print
Clients at an MTN service Center
In a bid to improve its services, MTN group has sold a total of 1‚228 mobile network towers in Rwanda and Zambia to IHS Holdings, Africa’s leading independent mobile telecommunications infrastructure provider.
MTN Group president and Chief Executive, Sifiso Dabengwa said that these latest deals are testament their commitment to client service, enabling the most efficient, effective and reliable networks.
“Our strong and trusted relationship with MTN is important to us and we remain committed to reinforcing their focus on customer service excellence.”
He said that it is a positive step towards freeing up management time to focus on products and services, thereby fulfilling their mission of ‘making customers’ lives a whole lot brighter”
The move however comes at a time when Rwandan subscribers have been having a lot of difficulties with MTN network and services, especially consistent network failure and mobile money services.
Recently, MTN Rwanda entered into a deal with Ericsson to ease the mobile money access through the Ericsson Converged Wallet as a way of upgrading the mobile money transfer services.
Mobile penetration in Rwanda currently stands at 63.7 percent and over 1.7 million subscribers were registered on the mobile money platform by March this year according to Rwanda Regulatory Authority statistics.
The figure was at 639,000 subscribers at the end of last year, with MTN Rwanda having pushed over Rwf90bn through the platform
MTN has previously sold 1‚000 of its base stations in Uganda and network towers in Cameroon and Côte d’Ivoire to IHS. The transactions bring the total number of towers in IHS’s portfolio to 10‚500.
IHS Group chief executive Issam Darwish said the deal will lead to an expansion of their activities into the two countries.
Under the agreements, IHS will acquire and operate the towers and related passive infrastructure and will invest in a build-to-suit program to support MTN’s future requirements in both countries.
MTN Rwanda and MTN Zambia will become the respective anchor tenants on the towers for an initial term of ten years.
IHS, Africa’s largest independent infrastructure tower company by number of towers managed, won the Middle East & Africa Deal of the Year Award at the Telecom Finance Awards held in London on 30 January 2013.