" ITREALMS: MTC establishes $10.5 b Africa investment fund

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Saturday, February 24, 2007

MTC establishes $10.5 b Africa investment fund

Mobile Telecommunication Company (MTC) Group of Kuwait, parent company of Celtel International, has set aside US$10.5 billion, (about N1.4 trillion) investment fund to expand mobile telecom operations in Africa through Celtel International.

MTC owners of Celtel, a mobile phone service provider with presence in 14 African countries including Zambia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo, among others, said that with fund Celtel Africa becomes the first mobile service provider on the continent to invest such a huge sum into improved network and expansion.

Managing Director of MTC, Dr. Saad Al- Barrak, who disclosed in a press statement from the organization, said the company chose this part in order to double its coverage in Africa.

"We have embarked on an issue of becoming a global company hence we have to double our coverage by investing in latest technology," he said.

ITRealms Online, recalls that last month, while in touring African operations, MTN had announced it was embarking on an expansion programme code-named Acceleration, Consolidation, and Expansion (ACE).

This the telco said is aimed at tripling the company's customer base to 70 million subscribers by 2011, just as Celtel Africa currently has about 25 million subscribers.

He also disclosed that Celtel has commenced discussions in high quarters with the African governments so as to enable them understand the immediate future plans of the company.

Dr. Al-Barrak noted while in Uganda fortnight ago, that he took up the expansion issues with President Yoweri Museveni.

He said that the Africa telecom development funds would be used primarily to expand network in various African nations, mostly where Celtel Africa has operations, even as he looks forward to new exploits.

Noteworthy is that although shareholders manage MTC, the Kuwait government has 24.6 per cent stake in the company. Celtel currently ranks third as the biggest mobile provider in Africa after Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) and Vodacom, both of South Africa.

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