A celebratory grand finale for MTC

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December2010/January 2011
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Mobile Telecommunications (MTC) Namibia closes the year 2010 punching the air in elation, as the company surpassed its own expectations, in a turbulent year that marked the country’s recovery from the recession.

Marking 15 years of existence and celebrating the 1.5th million connection, MTC had every reason to close off the year in a celebratory mood.

The Mixa Live Music Concert simultaneously broadcasted live on local radio, television and via MTC’s website. was indeed one of the major highlights of the year bringing together 15 of Namibia’s best performing artists in the anniversary celebrations.

In 2010, MTC’s growth strategy was hinged on retaining existing customers, capturing 60 percent of all new connections, and building a respectable presence in terms of internet access in Namibia.

In early 2009, the MTC subscriber base stood at around 1.2 million which means that over 300,000 new subscribers joined the 081-Nation in almost a two year span.

Buoyed by its own resilience in the face of recession and the decrease in the interconnection termination rates, MTC strategically cushioned these challenges by focusing on cost management, customer retention and new customer acquisition as well as offering customers more value for their money.

According to the company’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo, the impressive results were due to a combination of factors; chief among them, “the reorientation of the company’s employees from being passive to active participants in the company’s growth,” and a strong emphasis on cost management.

The company’s 2010 strategy focused on four pillars, namely, Human Capital, Product and Service Solutions, Corporate Social Investment and Investment in Technology.

HUMAN CAPITAL

In terms of human capital, MTC implemented a new code of conduct to ensure uniformity in collective corporate behavior and projection of the corporate image which is vital for corporate governance.

A recent Employee Satisfaction Survey, yielded positive and encouraging results, highlighting that MTC was still the most sought-after employer of choice.

Key issues emanating from the survey reveals that employee morale and satisfaction shot up tremendously in 2010, while loyalty to the MTC brand scored impressively.

“Overall, the results were above 80% which demonstrates the company’s intent over the past year to increase the employee value proposition and making sure that MTC remains the number one company to work for.

The company looks forward to its first ever participation in the Namibian ‘Employer of the Year’ survey in 2011 and hopes are already high that MTC will emerge top of the range,” Ekandjo stated.

A fully-fledged staff gym was opened as part of the company’s investment in health and safety. Also, MTC finalized the Occupational Health and Safety Project which now ensures that there is a systematic approach to health and safety.

“MTC has also obtained the well sought after International Standards Organisation (ISO) accreditation which now ranks us amongst the best companies in the world in terms of quality standards.

MTC has through this accreditation joined the world’s most successful companies in the world,” Ekandjo noted.

PRODUCTS AND SERVICE SOLUTIONS

As part of the global village and passengers on the information superhighway, Namibians have become more aware of the latest technological innovations around the world. This has put added pressure on MTC to be abreast of development and to deliver these new services to the customers as efficiently and effectively as possible.

During the year under review, MTC launched the ‘’Aweh Aweh’’ product which offered the customer limitless talk-time to 10 enrolled MTC numbers.

The company also launched Netman, the fastest and most reliable Internet service in Namibia with speeds of up to 7.2 megabits per second (mbps).

MTC also introduced the SmartPhone and the iPad products to Namibia, both of which were received with open arms by Namibians who also took kindly to the CRBT (customer ring back tone) service which is a fun and innovative service that allows customers to change the tradition ‘ring ring’ tone to music of their liking.

For the convenience of the customer, an e-billing (electronic billing) option was also introduced this year. E-bill is the faster, more convenient way for MTC Contract Customers to get their statements via email. This service ensures that the customer receives and pays for their bills without delay.

In addition to these exciting services, MTC also launched post-paid products such as: 3G Giant Plus and 3G Connect Media Giant packages; OfficeBox lite and Connect 50 Lite packages; OfficeBox Smartphone and Connect Smartphone; OfficeBox Giant and OfficeBox Giant.
There has been significant reduction in international call tariffs on OfficeBox packages.

In terms of providing access for customers to its exciting range of products and services, MTC opened four new Mobile Homes in Luderitz, Ondangwa, Wernhil Shopping Centre (Windhoek) and at Hosea Kutako International Airport. These additions brought the total number of MTC Mobile Homes to 25 spread all across the country to serve the loyal 1.5 million customers.

Simultaneously, an electronic queuing system was implemented at the two bigger MobileHomes in Windhoek to streamline the services and to address the long queues in these shops.

At the Customer Contact Centre (Call Centre), a number of initiatives were implemented which resulted in an improved service level rated from 38% in April to 95% in October 2010.

CORPORATE SOCIAL INVESTMENT

MTC has become synonymous with corporate social investment. The company accepted that social investment has become a culture at MTC, much more than just a fad or an activity that is exercised in passing.

MTC’s social investment projects total 1% of the company’s revenue per annum and is deliberately geared to benefit the greater number of Namibians as well as the environment.

“By far the largest benefactor of sports in Namibia, MTC has this year spent N$17 million on football, rugby, cricket and golf.

We view these sponsorships not merely as money spent on these codes directly but we see it as our role to allow the sports administrators to organize sports events for the larger majority of people to benefit from. We also accept that through our sponsorships to these four codes we have been able to create indirect employment through wages for coaches, players and administrators.

By enabling sports to be played at various venues around the country, additional income is also generated by the small traders who sell refreshments before during and after these local competitions,” Ekandjo explains.

In addition to sports sponsorship, MTC is proud of its role in mobile health initiatives. One such initiative is the collaboration with the Ministry of Health, through Management Sciences for Health (MSH) funded by the United states Agency for International Development (USAID) to develop the Electronic Dispensing Tool (EDT) and National Database of ART information data for medical dispensation and monitoring purposes.

With 2010 being an important election year for Namibia, MTC partnered with The Electoral Commission of Namibia. “We assisted over 150 Namibian journalists with N$ 1000 airtime each, to report on the elections effectively,” he says.

TECHNOLOGY

Rapid changes in technological advancement, coupled with the increasing array of products and services as well as the ever-growing customer demands behoves MTC to stay abreast of these developments, almost always at great cost.

The year under review again saw MTC investing significant amounts of money to ensure that the customer is provided with ongoing connection to the MTC network, all across the country.

For the convenience of its loyal customers, MTC replaced the separate Motorola 2G and NSN 3G packet core with a high capacity single 2G/3G packet core as well as modernizing the Windhoek Motorola 2G network and NSN 3G network with a high capacity and unified HUAWEI 2G/3G Radio Access Network at 90 sites.

As a strategic imperative, MTC has placed huge emphasis on creating increased and improved Internet access.

As a result, a total of 46 sites around the country saw the modernization of the 3G network with increased capacity and the expansion of 2G capacities at 123 sites countrywide. This can be resumed by one overall capacity increase on radio access of 25%.

MTC also unveiled new coverage sites all across Namibia and increased network accessibility and improved capacity on the national road network. The company also engaged in an exercise to swap IP ready equipment at 27 VSAT sites for improved data speed. At the same time, MTC is also installing IP ready equipment at 16 lodges countrywide through low-cost VSAT solutions.

Ongoing projects and initiatives include the capacity expansions and introduction of new capacity sites as well as the modernization of the Walvis Bay 2G network, all of which are due for completion in early 2011.

MTC is also proud to be part of a national project called WACS, an underground sea cable that will run from Europe to South Africa, enhancing internet capacity by at least 50 times compared to the current capacity.

MTC’s investment in the project alone is a total of N$ 102 million and has partnered with other Namibian stakeholders and the Government of Namibia through the Ministry of Information, Communications and Technology, to realise this national project.

CONCLUSION

As a leading and trend-setting telecommunications company, MTC will continue to invest in the development of its human capacity as well as improve its network capacity in line with international trends and to meet increasing customer demands. The sum total of MTC’s investments is to provide cutting edge solutions to its post and pre-paid customers, in all its product and service ranges, to make legendary customer service a top priority in the coming year.