MTN Group Chief Executive, Sifiso Dabengwa and his management team lead MTN's expansion strategy in pursuit of new telecommunications licenses across the rest of Africa and internationally and provide support to all MTN's operations outside of South Africa.
Leading Africa into a new age of economic development using telecommunications as the springboard is the driving force behind MTN's investment strategy for the continent.
Effective communication services are vital - particularly from a business perspective and nowhere more so than in Africa, which is developing into one of our most important trading continent.
It's on this fundamental truth that MTN has based its vision to become the leading provider of communication services on the African Continent, linking nations by providing an affordable, accessible and quality service that is a catalyst for economic development.
As one of the most enterprising operators to enter the cellular arena in Africa, MTN has duplicated its outstanding success from South Africa in its operations in Rwanda, Uganda, Swaziland, Cameroon and Nigeria, thus ensuring that those countries have access to leading edge technology which is affordable without compromising on quality. With these successes, MTN's vision is fast becoming a reality, a vision with a focus on three clusters, East Africa, West/Central Africa and the Southern Africa. The move towards seamless communication in Africa is gathering momentum.
Our success in Africa isn't just about providing telecommunications networks, which enable communication across countries and continents. MTN's aim is to facilitate change that will have long-term domestic benefits. Apart from the obvious economic development, local infrastructure and facilities are upgraded and the quality of life in communities is uplifted.
Moreover, MTN Group's philosophy of engaging local and international partners in joint venture partnerships ensures skills and knowledge transfer to those communities in which we operate. Local resources and services are also used wherever possible. Extensive training from MTN's team of experts is provided, with the ultimate aim being the host country's technological self-sufficiency.
MTN's leadership across African soil has earned it a formidable reputation for operational and service excellence, technological superiority and an ability to adapt and evolve to meet ever-changing needs. With these successes, without doubt, MTN has been elevated to fast becoming the leading provider of communication services across the African continent.
MTN Uganda launched a commercial mobile service less than six months after being licensed as the country's Second National Operator in 1998, launched a commercial mobile service. MTN Uganda's product range now extends beyond purely mobile services. Fixed wireless terminals are being used by over half of Uganda's largest corporations as fixed line substitutes. Wireless Local Loop is offered to the small and medium businesses allowing the provision of voice, fax and high speed data. MTN Uganda is the leading telecommunication company in Uganda and East Africa.
MTN RwandaCell was awarded a national GSM License in April 1998. A mere three months after being awarded the License, mobile-to- mobile calls were a reality. In less than 18 months MTN Rwanda Cell had exceeded its License obligations and covers over 11 major areas of the Country.
MTN Swaziland, victorious in a highly competitive tender process, joined forces with Swaziland PTT in July 1998, to operate the national GSM License. Obligations of 40% coverage were achieved nine months ahead of schedule. Today, MTN Swaziland's customer base has exceeded the country's fixed line customers.
MTN Cameroon successfully bid against top international operators, for the privatization of Camtel Mobile. Camtel Mobile was the first GSM operator on the African continent but experience slow growth due to limited investment. MTN Cameroon signed the License in February 2000 and within five months, MTN Cameroon upgraded the network to triple the existing capacity and doubled its customer base;
On the acquisition of MTN of all the Investcom Holdings which includes Ghana, Liberia, Syria, Cyprus, Yemen, Benin, Sudan, Guinea-Bissau the total number of countries MTN operates in are 21 countries with over 61.4 million subscribers.
Official launches will take place in the course of the year for all the new countries