The CEO of MTN Ghana Selorm Adadevoh says the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be far reaching than was anticipated at the beginning of the year.
The arrival of the pandemic has persuaded the public to resort to digital channels where they used to stick with traditional channels of communications, but the resultant surge in demand for MTN’s numerous digital channels has stretched its capacity. This has forced the company to invest heavily in unscheduled network expansion, such as a 50 percent increase in international bandwidth involving the establishment of 100 new cell sites.
Another challenge has been an unexpected surge in demand for the company’s TurboNet product in Accra and parts of Kumasi, which stretched its ability to meet customers demand.
Between 2019 and this year MTN Ghana is spending some US$300 million on expanding and upgrading its network, although the bulk of this was actually spent last year, expanding its 3G and 4G delivery capacity in particular. The company however admits that supply chain challenges resulting from the pandemic has put its investment rollout for 2020 behind time and part of it may have to be extended into 2021.
Mr. Adadevoh says the company has invested a lot of resources which is estimated to cost around GHc 100 million to guarantee the safety and protection of staff and customers and to support government to cope with the global pandemic.
Speaking at the 2020 edition of the Annual Media and Stakeholder Forum, the CEO of MTN Ghana, announced that MTN Ghana along with the MTN Ghana Foundation has done a lot to make life more comfortable for its various stakeholders.
MTN invested about GHc 29 Million to provide the required measures to keep staff and the working environment safe. An additional GHc 72 Million have been spent on interventions that have impacted Customers whilst GHc 6 Million have been spent on initiatives to support government.
Specific interventions carried out by MTN Ghana include:
- Supply of PPE for all MTN frontline staff
- Provision of relevant tools to enable about 90% of staff work from home
- Provision of 45 buses to transport MTN frontline staff to their work locations
- Boosting Network resilience (50% increase in international bandwidth, 100 new sites); to support work from home, online school, entertainment and other digital activities.
- Provision of Free access to over 200 educational websites for several educational institutions
- Offer of Free MoMo P2P transfers up to GHc 100 daily from March till date
- Provision of Free access (zero rate) of the Smart Workplace portal for government workers
- Donation of GHc 5m worth of PPEs for frontline health workers and 4 PCR machines
- Donation of digital equipment to Noguchi Memorial worth GHc 42,000; and
- Distribution of 85,000 face masks to various hospitals and clinics nationwide
- Two-month behavioral change campaign urging people to wear face mask. (Be Wise and Wear it for me campaign).
Selorm Adadevoh also used the opportunity to confirm that MTN Ghana was on track to become a digital operator by the end of 2023.