" ITREALMS: $20m facility for Starcomms, reaches 400,000 subscribers

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

$20m facility for Starcomms, reaches 400,000 subscribers

Remmy Nweke

TOP Unified License Operator (ULO), Starcomms Limited, has received the green light from its board of directors and fund managers led by Actis Limited, for the tune of $20 million facility, just as it reached 400,000 in subscriber base.

Managing Director, Starcomms, Otunba Maher Qubain, revealed this to newsmen at the telecom investment and finance forum by the Association of Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) that was held in Lagos.

He said that the latest figure in its subscribers was based on improved service delivery on its network.

This, he said, was achieved in over three years of active operation in the country.

On the new facility, Qubain disclosed this would aid the operators to introduce aggressive roll-out of its new license within the framework of Unified Licensing Regime (ULR).

Also, he said, this would bring Starcomms facilities in recent times to about $5.5 million.

It would be recalled that Starcomms had in January last year, received shareholders nod to invest estimated $42 million and as at March this year, the telco injected additional $14 million, about N1,793,890,000 billion, as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the firm.

While describing evolution in the nation’s telecommunications industry as Tsunami wave of telecom, the chief executive called on operators to respect the regulator.

Pointing out that it would encourage the regulator to continuously endeavour to create and sustain the good playing ground for all operators.

He further urged banks and non-banking institutions to trust local operators by giving them facilities when need.

For him, it is only when there is no hope at home that some businesses, especially in telecom that require huge funding now look offshore.

He also called on Nigerian banks to assist service providers such as dealers and distribution channels in the sector, mostly those who have potential for good governance.

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