My attention is drawn to an opinion/article by Kezio Musoke David published in The New Times newspaper of Saturday 27th September 2008 entitled: ‘Is MTN taking its clients for granted?’ From the onset let me categorically state that MTN has never and never will take its clients for granted.
The value and respect of the customer is the foundation on which our business is built and on which it shall continue to grow.
Towards the end of last year and early this year our network faced many challenges and regrettably our customers experienced many service disruptions.
The quality of the provision of network services is a priority clause covered under the telecom law. It allows the regulating authority the right to apply penalties on licensed operators.
MTN Rwandacell was fined and has paid in full all fines imposed on them by RURA. We are fully committed and making progress towards the final resolution of these challenges that come with effective implementation of high growth strategies.
Over the past 10 months, we have invested well over Frw33 billion in system and network upgrades and modernisation.
Less than 2 years ago we had just 300,000 customers and 60 base stations across the country. Today we have over 900,000 valued customers and the number of base stations is approaching 200 across the country.
All this is visible and available to any interested party to verify. It is therefore very unfortunate for the author of the article to suggest we are not making any investment in technological infrastructure.
Our product roadmap is continuously evolving and the timing of launches is managed to ensure efficient introduction to our customers.
We are confident that the ongoing works will address the quality issues and more in due course.
While I have the utmost respect for the journalism profession, it is very important that responsible and factual reporting is practised.
It is not only important to invest time to consult before putting pen to paper but also a fundamental right of the readers and all concerned parties. There are two areas I must point out that demonstrate this point.
Firstly, to be positioned to offer the BlackBerry technology in any market, the service provider needs to ensure it has the infrastructure and the appropriate legislation in place as well as associated rights to use the BlackBerry solution.
MTN Rwandacell has the technology in place and is working diligently on introducing BlackBerry to the Rwandan market.
In the meantime, BlackBerry users coming from operations that have data roaming agreements can use and have been using their BlackBerry in Rwanda.
The government on its part has expedited the required legislation and we are in position to offer this technology in Rwanda in the very near future.
Secondly, MTN Rwandacell revised its tariffs downwards in February 2008 and today we offer some of the most competitive tariffs in East Africa, I am sure our customers have experienced fundamental savings. No doubt with the continuous rollout of enabling technologies which we are positioned to adopt, MTN Rwandacell will continue to deliver innovative products to all our customers and most importantly offer all this at affordable prices.
For the past 10 years MTN Rwandacell has worked tirelessly to change the face of telecommunication in Rwanda, we are proud of our record in creating employment through our network of distributors, dealers and vendors, our commitment to being a socially responsible corporate citizen, and our commitment to investing in infrastructure that ensures we are able to deliver reliable quality services.
On behalf of a very determined team at MTN Rwandacell, I want to reassure our customers that we shall never compromise our commitment to deliver unrivalled quality of services however insurmountable the challenge may seem. MTN values its customers.
Makolo is Senior Manager – Sales and Marketing MTN Rwandacell