MTN set to invest $30 million in South Sudan

The investments will revive transmission sites, upgrading to 3G and adding new coverage.

Telecommunications firm MTN said it’s investing at least $30 million (R431 million) in revitalising and expanding its South Sudan operations, according to a report by Bloomberg.

The investments, which include reviving transmission sites, upgrading to 3G and adding new coverage, is part of a new deal to end a five-year civil war in South Sudan, according to the report.

Along with other telecommunications companies, MTN has cut back investments in South Sudan. The renewed investments will likely be a sign of confidence in the East African country, which has been hit by violence and a sustained economic downturn. 

“Given the peace process and the implementation of it, there is relative stability in the country,” Khumbulani Dhlomo, MTN’s local head of corporate services, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “To add to that, the government has undertaken to support us in providing security escorts when we do our network restoration and expansion.”

MTN is planning to double its network capacity and switch back on idled transmission sites in areas such as Western Equatoria, Bahr el-Ghazal and Upper Nile, Khumbulani told Bloomberg. MTN South Sudan has about 1.1 million subscribers and expects that number to “grow significantly” as it increases its coverage.

“Currently 200 sites are working in the country and if we build everything, we will be looking at around 410 sites.”