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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

MTN ready for unified licensing – Opeke

LEADING Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator, MTN Nigeria, has said it is technically well positioned for the Unified Licensing Regime (ULR) offerings.

Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at MTN Nigeria, Mrs. Funke Opeke said the company is currently positioned to take on the unified licensing offerings, mostly with its scalable backbone infrastructure in the country.

Speaking at the just concluded GSM Africa conference held in Abuja, Mrs Opeke, who dwelt on ‘MTN Nigeria, Leverage for growth’ said that MTN current operational areas which covers the six geopolitical zones.

Additionally, she said, MTN has 12 switch locations with a centralized network management center, which helps the telco to know and monitor where there is a hitch within a short interval.

The CTO further said that MTN readiness is evident in its 2000 BTS sites and over 6,000 kilo meter (km) Y’ello Bahn microwave backbone while another 3,500 km which she described as ‘blaze fiber optic backbone’ is pending.

Although she noted that there are some challenges facing telcos, the CTO said that microwave capacity constraints reflects on performance issues and could amount to compression of services, thereby limiting new service offerings.

Mrs Opeke also offered some antidotes, saying that deployment of fiber optic should be unlimited for any telco so as to provide backbone for capacity growth, even as she emphasized that adequate network redundancy and diversity should be optimized.

While facilitating new services, operators, she said, should be encouraged to deploy next generation platforms, such as the Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Third Generation (3G).

She also informed that MTN Nigeria plans to penetrate farther into the nation’s landmass with already mapped out deployment schedule.

The CTO maintained that new regulation, obviously in ULR would spur increasingly diverse modes and points of interconnection, just as plans are up to grow the multimedia services on the network.

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