M-Tel embarks on network expansion project

3 May 2007

Nigerian newspaper This Day has reported that ailing former incumbent cellco M-Tel is to engage the services of vendors Motorola, Ericsson, ZTE and Huawei in a deal to enhance the switching capacity of its infrastructure to five million. The project is reported to be worth NGN42 billion (USD345 million). M-Tel’s acting CEO Ladi Williams said yesterday in Abuja that the plan was to revitalise and reposition the firm, and stated that the same vendors will be contracted on a separate network restoration project that will cost about NGN7 billion. The four firms are expected to commence work next week.

Expressing confidence in his company’s ability to bounce back, Williams said ‘I believe that there are about 38 million subscribers in Nigeria and this country can take another 30 million. There is nothing wrong with M-Tel grabbing five to six million of that number.’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, M-Tel had 53,000 subscribers at the end of March 2007, down from a peak of 1.2 million at the end of 2005.

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