Integrated telecommunications firm MTN has blamed insecurity and the current flooding in parts of Nigeria for posing a challenge to the countrywide upgrade of its base stations.
The network optimisation exercise will affect over 4,000 base stations across the country.
The modernisation process is part of MTN’s US$1.3 billion total capital expenditure (capex) for 2012, MTN said.
MTN Nigeria’s corporate services executive Akinwale Goodluck, however, noted the network modernisation activities are progressing steadily.
He appealed to stakeholders and Nigerian MTN subscribers, who are estimated at 44 million, for patience following several reported cases of network hitches across the country.
“We regret, however, that the pace of work has been considerably challenged by the spate of insecurity coupled with the unprecedented flooding being experienced in many parts of the country,” he said.
Akinwale said that the task being undertaken is as good as building a new network, as they are seeking to replicate what MTN has achieved over a period of nine months.
He further explained that considerable progress has been recorded regarding the ongoing network improvement plans as several swap-outs had reached very advanced stages of completion.
The project objects enhancing capacity on the MTN network and improve service quality.
The flooding has, however, created additional logistics impediments that MTN said has resulted to a go-slow on part of the modernisation efforts.
A team of engineers and technical partners from Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE are implementing the modernisation project. According to MTN, the project is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2013.
MTN’s current power systems are being replaced with hybrid power systems said to be more environment-friendly.