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Ericsson to manage 75% of MTN Nigeria’s network

By , Editor, ITWeb Africa
Nigeria , 19 Feb 2014

Ericsson to manage 75% of MTN Nigeria’s network

Communications technology firm Ericsson is taking over the day-to-day operations of 75% of mobile operator MTN Nigeria’s network.

MTN Nigeria has signed on Ericsson for a “major five-year managed services agreement,” according to a statement.

The contract involves management, optimisation and field maintenance of 75% of MTN's network infrastructure that sits in areas such as Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt and Asaba.

MTN Nigeria is West Africa’s biggest mobile network with over 45 million subscribers.

The value of the Ericsson contract has not been revealed, but this is not the first time that MTN Group -- with a presence in 21 countries across Africa and the Mideast -- has turned to outside companies to manage its infrastructure.

In December 2013, MTN announced that it sold a total of 1,228 mobile network towers to IHS subsidiaries in Rwanda and Zambia to cut back on operating expenses.

In Nigeria; though, MTN has seemingly decided more on a middle path regarding cutting back on network operating costs.

“MTN will retain ownership and full control of its network assets and continue to have responsibility for strategic design and planning, as well as equipment purchasing decisions,” says an Ericsson press statement.

Michael Ikpoki, chief executive officer, MTN Nigeria, said in a statement: “Leaving the management and maintenance of our infrastructure to Ericsson will allow us to focus even more on adding value to the customer experience on our network.”

Meanwhile, Jean-Claude Geha, head of managed services at Ericsson, says: "This agreement with MTN, Nigeria's largest telecom operator, marks a milestone for Ericsson in Nigeria and in the region.”

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