IN the next nine months, subscrib ers of the telecommunications company, MTN Nigeria, are going to experience a unique quality of ser-vice that may dazzle stakeholders in the industry.
Before now there had been issues in the industry that resulted in the regulator, Nigerian Communications Commission, sanctioning MTN along with Glo, Airtel and Etisalat.
However, the latest development is not connected with that, as inside sources said that the new develop-ment at the MTN has been in dis-cussion among top management of the company before the NCC wade the big stick.
In fact, sources said that months before the NCC sanctions, top man-agement of the MTN Group in South Africa were in the country to tackle issues relating to quality of service in line with the vision of the Group on offering unmatched quality of services to its customers across Af-rica.
Our sources said that the team from South Africa made series of slide presentation to the Nigerian MTN team, on a key strategy on what the Group is doing for improv-ing quality service in all countries in Africa where it has operations.
Details of that discussion as well as the innovations that enhance quality services that the Group made to its Nigerian counterpart were at the weekend finally disclosed to the media in Lagos.
Corporate services executive, Mr. Wale Goodluck, chief technical of-ficer, Mrs. Lyda Saint-Nwafor, gen-eral manager, corporate affairs Mrs. Funmilayo Omogbenigun, general manager, capital programmes group(CPG) Dr. Victor Oduguwa, and senior manager, CPG, Mr. David Melaiye each took turns explaining what subscribers of MTN would witness in the network in the next nine months.
According to Goodluck, MTN would be doing a comprehensive network modernisation and swap-out exercise that is expected to cover its extensive network across the country stating that the exercise would entail upgrading and replacing key network components with newer versions for enhanced capac-ity and much improved quality of service.
He disclosed that the project, which had been in the pipeline for several months commenced over a month ago after intensive planning stating, "Our local team working closely with our technical partners and experts began work in April. They have done much of the backend work preparatory to the actual swapping of network compo-nents in the days ahead".
Goodluck said the massive project involving three technical partners, Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE, would be carried out at night to minimize impact on the quality of service.
In addition, he said the exercise would be done in clusters, such that select base transceiver stations (BTS) in disparate parts of the coun-try will undergo simultaneous up-grade to further ensure that the negative impact of the exercise is brought to its barest minimum.
He said while there may be slight inconveniences to subscribers in certain areas, especially at night during the implementation of the project, customers would generally be ushered into a new era of en-hanced service quality upon the completion of the project.
According to him, once the modernisation of the network is completed, sporadic network con-gestion episodes caused by sport-ing events, religious events or traf-fic gridlock would then be instantly resolved remotely from MTN net-work monitoring and management office without the technicians tak-ing the risk of getting to site to re-solve the problem.
"The network modernisation and swap-out project is part of the US$1.3b investment we have ear-marked for 2012, and this investment like many we've consistently made
since our inception, is in pursuit of world-class quality of service on our network.
We are delighted that this project brings us within a grasping distance of the mark", said
MTN Chief Technical Officer, Mrs. Lynda Saint Nwafor, while giv-ing details about the project said the modernisation and swap-out exer-cise would affect all aspects of the network from radio to transmission and core network.
According to her, all legacy equip-ment the company had installed for an upward of 10 years are going out, to be replaced with state-of-the-art equipment, with much better capac-ity and flexibility.
She added that even the power generation would also be affected, as the operator would be swapping existing power systems at most of the sites with hybrid power system, which is environment-friendly.
According to her, the company should have about 4000 sites on hybrid power system
by the end of the year, up from the current 2000 sites.
Also as part of the massive project, Saint-Nwafor disclosed that a contract had been signed with end-to-end telecommunications solutions provider, Ericsson, to optimise 3000 base transceiver sta-tions across the country.
At the end of the exercise, the BTS will operate at peak performance, significantly improving customer experience on the network, she added.
She explained that in some loca-tions, especially where security situ-ation would not allow her team to work at night, there would be tem-porary service difficulties in the course of swapping equipment and optimising the network.
She implored customers in such areas to bear with the company, as-suring that such temporary pains would usher in a new era of enjoy-able services and thrilling experi-ence.
At the press conference were other top officials of the company, including, among others.
On what happens to the swapped equipment, Goodluck said that they will be disposed stressing that they will not be donated to any institu-tion of learning.
He explained that MTN is not in support of the use of obsolete tech-nology for training students add-ing that using such equipment will not add value to what the students is learning.
He added that MTN is already offering cloud-computing services to organization in the country not-ing that there is no need for an or-ganization to invest money in infor-mation storage system when it could be outsourced from MTN, and that MTN data centre is avail-able for that purpose.