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MTN Zambia signs a $65mn loan agreement

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Zambia , 25 Jun 2012

MTN Zambia signs a $65mn loan agreement

Zambia’s second largest mobile operator MTN has signed a $65.8 million loan agreement with First National Bank (FNB), through the Rand Merchant Bank division, for the upgrading of network infrastructure.

MTN expects that the upgrading of its network infrastructure will help improve subscriber experience in products and service quality.

The loan facility is for a period of three years beginning this year. The mobile company also expects that the upgraded network infrastructure would enhance improved technology in telecommunication market like 2G, 3G and 4G, which it said was diverse and fast-growing.

Two weeks ago, the company said it has managed to recording 13% growth in its number of connections in six months from January this year to reach the much sought 3 million subscribers.

But through the expansion its network, the company is targeting to reach four million subscribers in order to be at par with the country’s largest operator Airtel Zambia, which currently has four million subscribers.

“This reflected tangible proof of the growing confidence in the Zambian market as more companies continue to invest significant amounts of money in the economy,” said MTN chief executive officer Abdul Ismail.

Ismail said the mobile telecom industry in Zambia has become more competitive as customers continue to demand more advanced technology regarding their telecommunication needs hence the company’s investment in the network infrastructure development.

He said a total of $38.7 million would be spent this year alone on expansion projects such as network coverage, broadband and internet access with focus on rural connectivity for schools, hospitals and clinics.

Ismail said MTN had seen a 42% increase in subscribers and a 2.1% increase in market share from 2010 to 2011.

Rand Merchant Bank representative Keith Webb said, “This agreement shows the bank’s commitment to its clients and the country at large.”

Early this month, Ismail said the year 2012 was showing positive signs for MTN Zambia on all fronts.

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