MTN Expanding Network in South Sudan

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MTN's South Sudan subsidiary has switched on the first of 161 base stations that it has been deploying across the newly independent country.

The switch-on is part of a USD76 million network upgrade project that MTN is undertaking after it split the network away from the main service in the rest of Sudan.

A further 160 base stations will be deployed this year, and that is in addition to upgrades ad the existing 147 towers, which are having 3G coverage added to them.

MTN South Sudan's CEO, Philip Besiimire said the company was working with ZTE to modernise its existing network to make MTN the biggest network in South Sudan by the end of the year.

The company cited the difficulties in deploying towers in rural areas with a lack of necessary infrastructure or power supplies. They are also required to pay for equipment in US Dollars, which is proving difficult to raise in the local currency.

The company was only recently formally granted an operator license to keep its network by the new government.

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