Bloomberg News

MTN to Spend Extra $40 Million Expanding Business in Zambia

July 13, 2011

(Updates with subscriber numbers in fourth paragraph.)

July 13 (Bloomberg) -- MTN Group Ltd., Zambia’s second- largest mobile phone operator, said it plans to spend an extra $40 million expanding its operations in Zambia this year.

“This will be in addition to the $220 million we have spent” so far, said Farhad Khan, head of the company’s Zambian unit, in an interview today in the capital, Lusaka.

The money will be spent on an improving capacity and coverage, expansion of so-called third-generation, or 3G, services, and its business continuity and disaster recovery program, the company said in a separate statement.

MTN, based in Johannesburg, is expanding in Zambia and had 2.2 million subscribers in the southern African nation as of June 30, making it the largest mobile operator after Airtel Zambia, a unit of India’s Bharti Airtel Ltd.

The South African company currently has 3G equipment at about 120, or 20 percent, of its second-generation sites in Zambia, it said. “This will be a substantial focus for us going forward to ensure that this number is increased, hopefully to 220-plus by end-2012,” it said.

3G enables faster data transmission and allows mobile-phone users to download music and video to their handsets.

--Editors: Alastair Reed, Shaji Mathew.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Mukwita in Lusaka on amukwita1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin in Johannesburg at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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