MTN Ghana contributes ¢1.2bn to GoG Tax Net in 2017

MTN Logo

Telecoms Giant, MTN Ghana has posted a 68% increase in total taxes paid to Government of Ghana in 2017 as compared to the previous year. The company’s total revenue soared to GH₵3.4 billion in 2017, as against the GH₵2.77 billion revenue recorded in 2016.

Speaking at a media forum to present the company’s financial performance, Vice-President for Southern and East Africa and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MTN Ghana, Ebenezer Twum-Asante announced the company retained profits of GH₵238 million last year, and had earmarked a ¢663m spend on capital expenditure for 2018.

Tax Breakdown
The mobile operator highlighted, in the face of a tough macro economic environment and a relatively stable regulatory environment, the company has had to accelerate new revenue streams to significantly contribute to National Development.

Efficient cost control to support their EBITDA was also key, but MTN’s clearly defined KPIs to ensure delivery with focus on customer experience, technology excellence, growing the data and digital agenda while igniting their commercial performance is clearly aiding the company’s remarkable performance.

Total payments to the Ghana Revenue Authority in 2017 was ¢1.06bn which translates into Communication Service Tax (CST), VAT, Duties, Corporate Taxes, PAYE, National Fiscal Stabilization Levy (NFSL) and Withholding Taxes (WHT) on Suppliers and Dividends.

The remaining ¢160m went to the Regulator (NCA) and Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GFIEC) as payments for Regulatory fees and Surcharge on International Incoming Traffic (SIIT).

MTN Ghana alone contributed to 3% of Ghana’s total tax revenue collected in 2017.

Job Creation
MTN Ghana’s commitment to employment both directly and indirectly is spiraling close to 600k. These are jobs created on the back of MTN’s ecosystem of partnerships and suppliers (500k), and through the business drive to go digital using mobile financial services as the payment backbone (90k+).

MTN Mobile Money
The mobile money (MoMo) business has an active subscriber base of 8.3m with direct relationship to 16 commercial banks. The company paid ¢71m to its subscribers as interests for using mobile money in 2017. Currently the MoMo business has an active agent base of 90k people who earned an average monthly commission of ¢89m cedis in 2017.

Ebenezer Asante, CEO of MTN Ghana, Vice-President for MTN Southern and East Africa

Capital Expenditure
Ebenezer announced, that MTN plans to spend ¢663m as its 2018 capital expenditure. This outlay would go into 695km fibre rollout, 1,100 new sites on its 3G network to improve population coverage by 27%. 230 new sites for coverage extension and capacity under LTE rollout and 300 new sites for coverage extension and capacity for the 2G networks.

He further stated, that the company has expanded its network to underserved areas from 44.5% to 70% between 2016 and 2017 and is looking forward to reach 400 additional communities at the end of 2018 by building another 200 of these rural sites for coverage extension.

At the forum, the Chief Technical Officer of MTN, Mohammed Rufai, bemoaned the state of fibre cuts to be one of their biggest challenges today, with over 1,200 cuts to their cables within the year 2017.

Corporate Social Responsibility
MTN Ghana Foundation, the CSR arm of the mobile operator, has over the last decade executed over 142 projects at a cost of about ¢60 million which has directly and indirectly impacted over 4million Ghanaians.

In 2018, the company will be building the New Juaben SHS library and ICT Centre, Nhyiaeso Basic 6 Classroom Block, Telecoms Lab in GIMPA, Juaso Palm Oil Production Unit and completing the Tema General Hospital Maternity Block and many others.

In his brief remarks, CEO of the Ghana Chamber of Telecommunications, Ing. Kenneth Ashigbey commended MTN for a great financial performance within a challenging economic environment while providing jobs and scholarships to Ghanaians. He also lauded MTN on the several innovations that have under pinned their business, especially the SMART and cost effective rural telephony systems that won a global award at the just ended Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Derek B. Laryea
(Head of Communications at the Telecoms Chamber)


UK pumps £25M into specialist 5G schemes

The UK government is set to invest £25 million across six 5G projects as it pursues an aim of being a “world leader” in businesses based around the new technology.


Each project will receive between £2 million and £5 million in grants and will also be part funded by private companies. The six programmes have a remit to explore 5G rollout or applications deemed beneficial to the country, including smart farming with drones, IoT applications for healthcare in the home, and new manufacturing technology.

Margot James, UK minister of state for Digital and the Creative industries, said: “The ground-breaking projects announced today will help to unlock 5G and ensure the benefits of this new technology are felt across the economy and wider society.”

The six chosen projects are: rural initiatives the 5G RuralFirst Partnership and 5G Rural Integrated Testbed; 5G Smart Tourism – centred on the leisure industry; trial and testbed group the Worcestershire 5G Consortium; public sector research group Liverpool 5G Testbed; and AutoAir: 5G Testbed for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles.

Digital strategy
The funding is part of the UK’s wide-reaching digital strategy, announced by the government in March 2017. The plan includes an aim to generate £1 billion in private and public sector funds to accelerate deployment of next generation digital infrastructure, and create new business opportunities based around 5G.

The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the progress made so far on its strategy had ensured the country remaing “the number one location for tech investment in Europe.”

Despite the new investment and ongoing schemes, gaining a global leadership in 5G technologies will prove a tough task, with other countries making rapid progress towards developing and harnessing the technology.

Several operators and regulators around the world are projecting 5G launches in 2018 or 2019, with tough competition even within Europe as countries across the continent talk-up their prospects.

Source: Mobile World Live

EE Chief believes Industry is struggling with 5G model


EE boss Marc Allera (pictured) suggested the main value proposition for 5G remains unclear, stating most of the industry is “wrestling” with creating a business model for the technology at this stage.

Allera, speaking to Mobile World Live, revealed the UK was realistically 18 months from a 5G launch. He explained the country’s largest mobile operator had stepped up trials over the past year and entered into discussions with handset and equipment vendors to build a 5G ecosystem.

As 5G moves ever closer, Allera highlighted a number of different areas where the technology could be useful, such as addressing demand from consumers and businesses for high capacity in urban areas, and low latency use cases for IoT and autonomous cars.

However, it remained unclear what service proposition the operator would launch with: “Everyone is still trying to figure that out,” Allera admitted.

Allera said this made it difficult to build a business model around 5G, while adding that “the reality will be that we will have to assume that consumers and businesses will be prepared to pay a little bit more for faster, higher quality access to the internet and that’s how the business case will be for everyone else”.

He continued: “There will be capex investments and spectrum investments to deliver 5G and, as a result, we are going to have to look for revenue streams and getting some sort of premium out of 5G, as we did with 4G.”

In the interview, Allera also spoke of the company’s convergence strategy with content and its work to address the UK’s rural divide.

Source: Mobile World Live

Simplify IoT deployments – Microsoft

Implementing IoT should be simple: connect the thing, gain insight, take action, Microsoft believes.

Such moves to ease deployment will trigger a business revolution by enabling a digital feedback loop where connected IoT leads directly to action. However, Rashmi Misra, the company’s GM of IoT and AI solutions, readily accepts IoT is not at this level today and is a complex environment involving many diverse players along with significant challenges.

IoT Shot

“There is a need for simplification and consistency within the IoT chain,” the Microsoft executive said during the Delivering the IoT Ecosystem session at Mobile World Congress.

“We need IoT to have access to edge and cloud-based intelligence along with the ability to maintain cohesive security throughout its managed life.”

“With some analysts forecasting 1 million IoT devices being connected every hour by 2020 there is a clear opportunity – and accompanying challenges. There will be a need for very large ecosystems, and we believe Microsoft will help simplify deployments by managing the provision of devices, provide secure systems that scale, and then enable rapid analytical insight.”

Andres Escribano, director of Telefonica’s IoT connectivity business, echoed some of what Misra had said: “While I might call IoT the Infinity of Things, it should be approached step-by-step: connect, collect, process, analyse. This last phase is the most important and where IoT adds most value to a business.”

He also emphasised the need to embed IoT security at the design phase, and that standardisation and certification were key to the IoT ecosystem become a global solution.

“But I caution all the involved players not to oversell IoT, and focus on reducing the overall price of the solution.”

T-Mobile US gave some indication of what its connection costs might be for IoT. “We’re looking to charge $6 a year per connection over our NB-IoT network,” VP of network technology development and strategy, Karri Kuoppamaki, said.

“We went live late last year with this service, and we believe IoT presents a very serious opportunity and that the network is a key component in its success.”

Source: Mobile World Live