The Group’s head of Ivory Coast said the upgrading of the network will be done in the West African nation.
The South African company is the number two operator in Ivory Coast – French-speaking West Africa’s largest economy – behind France’s Orange.
“We want to be first,” Wim Vanhelleputte said on Thursday at the inauguration of a new data centre in the commercial capital Abidjan.
“Today we have a market share of 37 percent. We are aiming to go to at least 40 percent, and that will be possible through this kind of investment,” he said.
Vanhelleputte said MTN was spending 40 billion CFA francs this year to renew, modernise and extend its Ivory Coast network and planned similar investments in each of the next two years.
The company is particularly seeking to meet growing demand from clients for fast data services. “Today we have 1,000 km of fibre optics in Abidjan,” Vanhelleputte said.
Ivory Coast has around 19 million mobile phone subscribers out of a total estimated population of some 24 million.
In addition to Orange and MTN, Libya’s Green, Etisalat’s Moov and Koz, part of Lebanon-based Comium, also operate in the country. Domestically-owned Cafe Mobile and Abu Dhabi-based Warid Telecom both hold unused operating permits.