MTN Group’s South Sudanese mobile unit plans to invest up to USD35 million in modernising and expanding its operations following a period of cutbacks, reports Bloomberg. As a new deal to end a five-year civil war brings improved security to much of the country, MTN says it will begin work on reviving transmission sites, upgrading to 3G and expanding coverage. ‘Given the peace process and the implementation of it, there is relative stability in the country,’ Khumbulani Dhlomo, MTN’s local head of corporate services, was quoted as saying, adding: ‘To add to that, the government has undertaken to support us in providing security escorts when we do our network restoration and expansion.’ He revealed that the South African-owned cellco plans to double its network capacity and switch back on transmission sites situated in areas most affected by the conflict, such as Western Equatoria, Bahr el-Ghazal and Upper Nile. The move will increase the number of active sites from 200 to around 410.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MTN competes with Kuwaiti-based Zain in the South Sudanese mobile market. It had almost one million subscribers at the end of 2018, giving it a market share of 53.1%.