Spends $1.5billion on network in 3 yrs *Says no imminent job loss in telecom sector
No imminent job loss in the sector
Fielding questions, Ogunsanya said that “fears of retrenchment are not founded. They are all fictions. Outsourcing doesn’t lead to job loss, rather, it increases. We in Airtel have had more people come in now, than three ago when we were managing most of our facilities ourselves.
“Again, selling towers to those who are trained in managing it brings more efficiency than job loss. If we have a third party who has the core competency to manage whatever part of our business, we allow them to do it because it gives us the space to do our own functions very well and open avenue for more people to come in. So the fear of joss loss should be dismissed” he added.
We may not bid for the 2.3 GHz spectrum because we feel we have several options to deliver robust data and broadband services. However, we have not concluded decisions on the issue. But I think we may not bid.
Voice, still King
There is also rumors about dwindling Average revenue Per User, ARPU, but I also think that is unnecessary fears. For instance, our revenues are driven 70 percent by voice and less than 30 on Data. This is irrespective of the fact that the new business space is favoring data, but voice is still king for now.
The implication of Ogunsanya’s illustration was that ARPU can not be said to be dropping when it is still accounting for 70 percent of operators’ revenue.
Quality of service
For him, “we need to build more base stations to get better services across to the subscribers. We are also committed to making that investment but the problem is that getting the approval to erect one, takes over one year and that, kind of, stifles the process.
“The issue of quality of service, is like a chain. If one segment of the chain is broken, the wheel will not roll faster. What we are saying is that all the parties to the investment, including the federal, state and local municipals must be in sync to have the investment in QoS more meaningful.
We have already spend about 1.5 billion dollars in three years in Nigeria alone and are ready to do more if the government could help us remove bottlenecks militating against more investments in telecom infrastructures.
The government should solve the issue of unsteady power supply, address the issue of every tear of government, including the federal, state and local governments regulating the telecom industry and making process of infrastructure deployment cumbersome. It should also solve the problem of double taxation on operators among other bottlenecks”
Sanctions for the operators
“People have been advocating for sanctions but I don’t think sanctions are the right measures for the poor quality of service. No matter how much sanction you give, it is not going to improve the service. What will improve the service is looking at ways to solve all the problems militating against it. That is where we are expecting the government to focus on instead of sanctions. The best option is to create a one stop clearing house on the issues to achieve the purpose. The Lagos state government has set the pace in the agreement they signed with operators recently” he added.
He however, advocated a collective effort between government and the operators to make investment in infrastructure building easier for the telecom operators, saying this way, the industry will experience faster growth and more employment.