GSM operator Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) has celebrated becoming the first Nigerian cellco to sign up a million subscribers by announcing a USD60 million network expansion programme. With a current installed capacity of 1.2 million lines, MTN’s network is rapidly reaching saturation point but the cellco will use the additional funding to accelerate the construction of a further 200 base stations to add to the 400 it has nationwide. MTN has already invested USD120 million in its network backbone since launching services in August 2001 and is building six additional switching centres, to add to the eight already operational, as it seeks to improve call quality in congested metropolitan areas.
MTN has also revealed that, due to the prioritising of its Nigerian network, it recently turned down an offer of a mobile operating licence in Tanzania from the Tanzanian Communications Commission. MTN also has operations in South Africa, Cameroon, Swaziland, Rwanda and Uganda.