MTN Zambia chief executive officer Charles Molapisi says the company is in consultation with government to understand the 30 ngwee per day Internet tariff that has been imposed on cell phone subscribers.
And Molapisi says the telecommunications company intends to construct at least 300 sites in villages across the country to improve mobile services to the far-flung areas.
When asked whether MTN’s revenues dwindled following an increase in Internet calls as stated by government, and whether the 30 ngwee per day tariff on Internet calls was a welcome move, Molapisi said that he would only avail further information after consultations with government.
“I think what is important for me to say is that, we work with the Ministry [of Communications] very closely; the Ministry has been very supportive to us over the years, and I think I would like us to go more into details. I have been in close contact with the Ministry. I think it’s only after that we will be able to provide further insight into what this 30 ngwee move by government is all about. But what is important is that we work closely with the government, we align in terms of objectives with those of the government. So, we will explore a little bit more in details later. I think it’s too early to say…[whether we had trouble collecting revenue or not] for me to provide the details that you are asking for. I think maybe first for me to explore a little bit more in details [to see whether it’s a welcome move.] I think once we are in face-to-face discussions, I think we will be able to provide the answers that you want once we are done with the final consultations with government,” Molapisi told News Diggers! in an interview in Lusaka, Wednesday.
And speaking earlier during a breakfast meeting, Molapisi said MTN Zambia intends to construct at least 300 sites in villages across the country to improve mobile services to the far-flung areas.
“We are connecting all the villages; we have an ambitious plan of rolling out close to 300 sites in five months across the villages in Zambia. We will continue to strive to change the lives of our people because we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern life. And we want everyone, not the Lusaka people alone, not the people on the Copperbelt alone, but people in Mpika, and people in Mporokoso. Zambia is a competitive market. It’s a competitive market and we respect our competitors. They are working very hard just like we are working very hard,” Molapisi said.
“But we believe in our brand, we believe in the message for the future, and we also believe that MTN, we are truly the only operator in the continent that is properly committed to the African continent. We are the only one in this whole continent who is the people African operator that is committed that has got scale, that covers many countries, so our roots are Africa. Our commitment is Africa. We continue to spend more money in this continent. We believe that our strategy makes more sense and we are committed to the future of Zambian and Africa.”
He added that MTN had embarked on a skills development mission, and had engaged educators to provide free grade 12 lessons on MTN TV, which 12th graders can freely access.
“We sent an announcement yesterday; if you check our Facebook page [to start providing tuition lessons to grade twelves.] We will be going strongly in terms [of] announcement in the media. How we do this is that we have partnered with a number of very strong and competent educators. We are creating a platform for them to be able to give revision lessons for the past papers to enable our young people to uplift their skills and to be able to be competent,” explained Molapisi.
“So, all you need is a Facebook account, you access it across the network, any other network you are free to access it and from there, the content is going to be recorded, and it’s going to be stored on the MTN platform, which is MTN TV. So, any time the grade twelves will be able to access it and it will be there for good, which will be very powerful. But the live sessions, which are going to be launched, and are going to be done by the educators live in the next three weeks by every Zambian irrespective of the network and that is the beauty about MTN; we cater for everybody because we want to leave our people in a better place.”