TELECOMS

MTL rolls out CDMA in Malawi in face of US$3 million annual vandalism bill

MTL re-iterated its intention to keep rolling CDMA 2000 fixed wireless units to customers to overcome down-time issues caused by a vandalism bill of US$3 million annually.

MTL says it would continue to roll out a wireless transmission system to overcome communication breakdowns.

The company says the move would improve communication and reduce problems encountered due to cable vandalism.

MTL Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Ken Mthuzi said Monday that:”For the foreseeable future we shall continue rolling out the wireless with greater momentum but cables will also be used as appropriate.” said

He added that the company is incurring huge losses due to cable vandalism to the effect that as of July this year MTL had lost US$3 million for cable repairs only. The revenue losses and other incidentals are not easy to estimate but we are working on a method to ease the estimation of revenue losses too”.

On vandalism, Mthuzi admitted that one former employee was arrested in connection with cable vandalism but pointed out the company does not have any concrete evidence of more involvement by former workers. “The vandalism problem is not just MTL’s, it is a national problem, because of vandalism many services are disrupted, the general public is inconvenienced and losses incurred too.

MTL spends huge amounts of hard earned forex importing cables for repairs. Such forex could have been better used to import other things. “Foreign investment is not easy to attract if you have unreliable telecommunications services. So the country as a whole is the real loser when vandals chop MTL cables,” said Mthuzi.

The Daily Times

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