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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

MTN spends N700m monthly on power supply

Leading Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) operator in the country, MTN Nigeria Communications Limited, has declared that it spends close to N700 million monthly on provision of alternative power supply for its operations nationwide.

While decrying the state of epileptic power supply in the country, at a one-day stakeholders summit on the “State of Nigeria’s Energy and Power Sector: Implications for Telecommunications Development,” at the weekend, the chief executive, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Ahmad Farroukh represented by the Head, Regulatory, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Wale Goodluck, said that approximated N700 million is being spent on monthly basis by MTN on diesel and related costs to keep the network running.

“We spend close to N700 million on diesel per month,” he asserted, noting that no telecommunications operator would like to run its operations on alternative power supply like in generating sets.

“Self provision of power supply is expensive,” he declared, adding that presently the renamed power company of the federal government, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is now regarded as back-up for all the operators in the country.

Justifying his claims in a special presentation made at the occasion on “The Challenge of Accelerating Network Expansion in an Expensive Energy & Erratic Power Regime: Exploring bio fuels as cost-effective alternative,” Mr. Farroukh said that an estimated 400 litres of diesels per hour is being consumed and when multiplied by 24 hours of all the base stations running into thousands owned by the operator it would be getting close to N700 million every month.

According to him, every operator that knows its onion now has two generating sets of between 15 to 20 KVA, dubbed master and slave to sustain operations.

Just as they have to contend with the challenge of security and how telecommunications services impact on the citizenry eventually.

As said by him, an estimated 40 generating sets could not be reached for routine maintenance due to community issues, especially those who are seeing telecom operators as kind of national cake that ought to be shared.

This is coming even as about six generating sets have been declared missing from the site of location, pointing out that all this contribute to the kind of quality of services that consumers get at the end of the day, just as on average, each of the cabins housing base stations has two air-conditioners.

Telcos, Mr. Farroukh said, are investing lots of fund on security and intelligent security as well, stressing that the number of organisations in search of generating sets to serve them have grown in recent times in the country, hence these generating sets have to be mainly imported.

He also alleged that some of the stolen generating sets are being offered on second hand value openly in the market.

“We can do nothing about it and even the security agencies seem helpless,” he lamented.

On the industrial noise pollution of using generating sets, Mr. Farroukh pointed out that communities have to take a stand if they want telecom services and obviously ready to safe guide such equipment and then live with the noise pollution.

He maintained that in the real terms, it’s difficult to find the solution of power supply through wind, bio fuel, and solar energy apart from diesel as a means of alternative power supply outside PHCN.

Therefore, he advised that fixing PHCN, which has been commenced by the federal government, is the only solution if power supply generation is to be cost effective.

“PHCN remains the only solution. It’s the only organisation to generate power with cost effective,” he said.

MTN Nigeria, which commenced GSM operations in Nigeria on May 16, 2001 is part of the MTN Group, and prides itself as the continent’s leading cellular telecommunications company after paying the $285 million for one of the four GSM licenses in January 2001 and has invested over $1.8 billion on building mobile telecommunications infrastructure.

And since August 2001 when it launch services in Lagos, MTN claims provision of services in over 223 cities and town and over 10,000 villages and communities across the 36 states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, while its subscriber base is in the neighbourhood of 15 million.

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1 comment:

tobitech said...

i have other means of power supply to cell towers
tobitech@mail.com
i am in USA now i will be back as soon as possible
thanks
Tony

Konga