MTN Raises Investment in Data Facilities as Internet Companies Drain Revenue from Voice Calls and SMS

MTN Racks Up Investment in Data Facilities as Internet Companies Drain Revenue from Voice Calls and SMS

Nigeria’s largest telecom company, MTN, is prioritizing investments in data facilities over voice infrastructures. The telecoms company made this known at a recent meeting to conclude a N200 billion loan deal this week.

The move shows telecom companies are beginning to pay rapt attention to increasing changes in customer behaviours caused by tech developments. One of such trends has seen internet chat services like Whatsapp disrupt SMS and Voice calls. And interestingly, Whatsapp services are free, at least so far.

MTN is looking to diversify its business and make it more resilient to this tectonic shift the internet has brought.

“We are currently experiencing more demand for data services from social media like WhatsApp”, says Mr. Ishmael Nwokocha, General Manager, Corporate Treasury Finances at MTN.

“As we transit from call-centric to data-centric, we need to improve our infrastructure for data service offering, and we have to prepare for the future, if a large part of our revenue will be coming from data, hence our new focus and energy are on data and how to invest more in our data facilities,” he added.

No Haste to Introduce 5G Technology

In another development, MTN says it is also no in a hurry to introduce 5G technology. Despite being the leading teleco and 5G coming to fruition, MTN says it has to exhaust its 3G and 4G network before rolling out 5G.

According to Nwokocha, 3G and 4G smartphones are still not widespread in the country. Beyond a few cities like Lagos and Abuja, the technology is yet to penetrate the country.

“MTN has tested 5G rollout in South Africa, we are going to conduct a test in Nigeria also”, Nwokocha said. However, for this to garner attention, “we have to make sure that the 5G compliant smartphones are in the market and that the smartphones are in the right preference.”

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