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MTN apologises to its customers for recent network disruptions

MTN would like to convey its sincerest apology to customers who may have been affected by service disruptions in the last two weeks.

As MTN adapts to meet the increasing quality and capacity demands on the network, it will significantly re-engineer its network in certain parts of the country to ensure that it is of an acceptable standard and is capable of satisfying the needs of its customers.

"The adjustments were many and they included reviewing how we can optimally utilise the existing spectrum, which entailed re-configuring the current allocation of our spectrum. This exercise is aimed at providing customers with improved coverage and quality of experience," says Eben Albertyn, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA.

Further to this review, a technology refresh of parts of the network took place, which included upgrading the technology level of our equipment; this resulted in intermittent service disruptions being experienced in and around metro areas.

Load shedding also exacerbated our disruptions. It must be noted that in the event of a power failure, MTN base stations are powered by batteries or generators. The majority of the network sites use batteries for backup. These batteries have a limited backup time, and recharging them takes time. Furthermore, several hundred sites have been vandalised and batteries have been stolen in recent months. Where possible, MTN has been deploying these batteries to all sites to alleviate the impact of power outages. However, MTN has not been able to cover 100% of its sites yet.

"We are working tirelessly to ensure there is minimal impact on services and are planning for a speedy completion. We are aware that the demand will spike over the festive season and we remain confident that these interventions will bolster our capacity to meet expected traffic," adds Albertyn.

There were a number of MTN customers who migrated from Nashua Mobile who also experienced connectivity problems on 25 November. These customers were inadvertently disconnected; however, services were restored on the same day.

"MTN apologises to its customers for any inconvenience caused during this time," concludes Albertyn.

MTN

MTN Group

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a multinational telecommunications group, operating in 21 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The MTN Group is listed on the JSE Securities Exchange in South Africa under the share code: "MTN".

As at the end of 30 June 2010, MTN recorded 129.2 million subscribers across its operations in Afghanistan, Benin, Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Republic, Iran, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo (Congo Brazzaville), Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Uganda, Yemen and Zambia. The MTN Group is a global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa and has exclusive mobile content rights for Africa and the Middle East. Visit http://www.mtn.com and http://www.mtnfootball.com.