MTN is investing R24,49-billion in capital expenditure during 2009 to develop new markets in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and Iran.
This is the word from Tim Lowry, vice-president: SEA Region of the MTN Group and MD of MTN South Africa, speaking at AfricaCom yesterday.
"Overcoming the barriers that hinder adoption will result in faster customer growth," he says. "Barriers that hinder customer growth include affordability, simplicity, clarity and flexibility.
"We are overcoming these four barriers with the introduction of various products."
In terms of affordability, the MTN Zone product offers customers up to 95% off their call charges depending on area and network load. The company also offers a rate of R5.00 a minute for roaming across Africa.
The challenge of bridging the global digital divide and expanding the MTN services beyond borders is where the company's current focus lies. "We need to create a connected continent. But, in order to do this, we need to overcome challenges such as the cost of devices and how we take Africa to the world and bring the world to Africa."
Handset devices that offer voice, data and multimedia services need to be accessible to everyone. MTN is currently working to drive down prices of handsets that support these services to a recommended price of between $30.00 and $40.00.
"Taking Africa to the world becomes a reality as we invest heavily in infrastructure across the MTN footprint. Our current investment in an extensive self-provisioning project to create a national fibre backbone, will see us bringing the world to Africa," Lowry says.