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Business News of Thursday, 19 September 2019

Source: Senyalah Castro

Fibre cuts are our biggest challenge - MTN

Telecommunication giant, MTN, says underground fibre cable cuts continue to be a major challenge for the company, even in recent times.

MTN, as its medium of transport for backhauling services from cell sites to major switching centres, currently runs about 95 percent of its backbone traffic on fibre optic cables.

With the fibre optics, MTN is able to provide greater bandwidth for high connectivity speed to accommodate the increasing traffic demands for digital services in the country.

But road contractors and private developers, whose activities are largely responsible for such cuts, are making it difficult for the telecommunications company to provide and ensure excellent service delivery.

This was made known to Journalists and media practitioners at an Editors’ forum held in Bolgatanga on Wednesday.

Addressing the gathering, the Northern Sector Network Manager for MTN, Joseph Kwadwo Addai, said the cuts place huge financial setbacks on the company as MTN spends a lot of money to repair the damages caused to their fibre optic cables.

He explained, “MTN spends a minimum of Ghc 6,634.88 to repair a single cut. And this year to date, we have experienced 822 cuts and you can imagine the cost incurred which could have been used to reinvest into our business”.

He said the company has taken steps to address the problem and is in close discussions with the Ghana Highways Authority, Departments of Urban Roads, Traditional Authorities and other key stakeholders to ensure the cuts are eliminated to give customers good quality, uninterrupted services.

Mr. Addai added that routes that are prone to fibre cuts are also been identified to enable the MTN technical team to relocate them to much safer ground where they will not be destroyed. The company also uses aerial transmission at locations with bigger drainage systems to prevent the destruction of cables by contractors and strong moving rain waters.

He appealed to private developers and road contractors, who do not give MTN due notice before commencement of their construction activities to refrain from that and closely collaborate with the company to avert unnecessary damage to company underground cables.

“Strategically, we are lining with the Ghana Highways Authority, the departments of urban roads, DCEs, Chiefs etc. for them to be aware of our fibre cables walking underground in their various districts and communities. So in the event where they see activities that can impact our fibre cables, they draw our attention. And again, there are routes that are prone to fibre cuts, so what we do as a business is to identify those routes and relocate the cables in order not to cause damage to the cables which can cause disruptions in our network. Areas with bigger drains, we go aerial so that in the event where there is heavy rain, it doesn’t impact out fibre cables".

“Lastly, what we’ve resolved to do now is to give warning letters to private developer and road contractors who don’t pre-inform us when they are having any construction activities”.

Mr. Addai appealed to customers to bear with them in the event that MTN Network service is disrupted as a result of fibre cuts.

Some technological devices such as tablets, power banks, wireless Bluetooth earsets and pen drives were given to lucky participants. Customized shirts and other MTN souvenirs were also distributed to some lucky participants.

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