REJOINDER �MTN Ignores Ghana's Complaints

We write in response to a story on the above subject published in the Citizen newspaper on Tuesday 7th February, and subsequently on your website. The story presented a gross misrepresentation of the facts. We therefore request that in the interest of fairness and balanced journalism, you publish this rejoinder both in the Citizen newspaper and on your website, with the same prominence you gave your story. The story stated that MTN is investing $1 billion in network expansion in Nigeria alone while ignoring numerous complaints by subscribers of its Ghana operations. This is a misrepresentation of the facts. MTN Ghana has and continues to invest heavily in its network. Furthermore, MTN Ghana is fully committed to offering world class telecommunications services to its valued customers and absolutely rejects the assertion that subscriber complaints are ignored. It is unfortunate that your newspaper failed to request for network investment information from MTN Ghana prior to making incorrect allegations. Since acquiring Scancom Ltd. in 2006, MTN Ghana has made extensive investments in the expansion and upgrade of its telecommunications infrastructure and equipment. The results of those investments include network coverage extension to all 10 regions of Ghana, upgrade to all IP infrastructure, 400 kilometers of fiber-optic cables, replacement of obsolete radio and core networks with leading edge technology such as blade clusters in the Softswitch and multi technology base transceiver stations (BTS), and improved transmission redundancy. MTN Ghana has already invested over US$1.1 billion in its network and continues to invest in the network. In May 2011, we successfully landed the West Africa Cable System (WACS) in Accra. WACS is an ultra-high capacity submarine cable system deploying next generation technology to provide seamless connectivity between countries in Southern and West Africa and the rest of Europe, America and the East. The system, which MTN Ghana expects to operationalize this year, will provide increased broadband capacity and speed for subscriber connections to the global telecommunications network. In 2012, MTN Ghana will continue to invest in technologies that will further develop and expand its network and support the delivery of quality voice and data services in Ghana. The MTN Group has 21 operating companies (Opcos) in as many countries. Market conditions and capability are key considerations for capital investment by each of these Opcos. Hence it is inappropriate to compare investment amounts between any two Opcos. Nigeria is a country covering a surface area of approximately 923,770 square kilometers, has a population of approximately 155 million and 127 million mobile subscribers, while Ghana covers approximately 238,540 square kilometers, has a population of approximately 24.7 million and about 21 million mobile subscribers. The level of investment required for network expansion and improvement in a country like Nigeria cannot be compared to that of Ghana. While MTN Ghana is committed to the provision of reliable services, we have, in the past, communicated day-to-day challenges we face, key among them being fibre cuts. In 2011, MTN Ghana experienced over 140 fiber cuts caused by road construction crews, accidents and acts of nature as well as vandalism and sabotage. In January 2012 alone, we experienced 50 fibre cuts. Beyond the additional investment required to repair fibre cuts, these fibre cuts cause diminution in the quality of voice and data services to customers, and in some cases outright network outage. We are deeply aware of the inconvenience to customers and the negative reputational effect of these incidents, and so we have focused on several strategies to mitigate these challenges. MTN, along with the Telecommunication�s Chamber, is working with the Association of Road Contractors and the Ghana Highways Authority, as well as educating the public, in an attempt to reduce fibre cut incidents. We are focused on finding solutions to these and other challenges such as electricity fluctuations and cell site roll out issues that affect the network. We wish to assure all our valued subscribers that providing quality mobile voice and data services is of prime importance to MTN, and we will continue to make the right investments in advanced technologies to ensure that we provide Ghanaians with the best of services. With a national IP network, 400 kilometers of fiber-optic cable, MTN Group�s investment in the submarine cable (West Africa Cable Systems), over 2,000 cell sites, 3,342 BTS and five switch centers and world class data centers, we have shown great commitment to delivering on our brand promise, and we will continue to make the investments required to deliver on that promise. Journalists seeking information may contact the Corporate Services Division of MTN at 0244300000. Yours Faithfully, Cynthia Lumor (Mrs) Corporate Services Executive