SWAZI MO­BILE PAYS E220 MIL­LION TO LO­CAL BUSI­NESS

In­vest­ment of E350m on set­ting up shop within the 2 months Aims to reach 77% net­work cov­er­age by the end of Novem­ber New of­fer­ing of en­hanced light­ning high-speed net­work will be in­stalled in strate­gic ar­eas

Sunday Observer - - FRONT PAGE - STO­RIES BY SICELO MAZIYA

Swazi Mo­bile’s com­mit­ment to the lo­cal econ­omy has been demon­strated in two months (Au­gust and Septem­ber) since they launched op­er­a­tions, with the new en­trant in the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions in­dus­try in­vest­ing over E350 mil­lion to date.

This in­vest­ment is out­side of the es­ti­mated E1.3 bil­lion worth of in­fras­truc­ture which the com­pany has had in place since it started mak­ing in­roads in the com­mu­ni­ca­tion sec­tor and con­tin­ues to im­prove on. The E1.3bil­lion, though not of­fi­cially con­firmed, is es­ti­mated from pre­vi­ous re­ports on in­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ments.

The mo­bile com­pany con­firmed that it has so far in­vested at least E350 mil­lion to­wards goods and ser­vices, with a chunk of this go­ing to lo­cal con­trac­tors who have ben­e­fit­ted most as the com­pany set up for go­ing live. Ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s ac­counts, around E220 mil­lion was spent on dif­fer­ent lo­cal com­pa­nies which were awarded dif­fer­ent ten­ders. Se­nior Fi­nance Man­ager Thokozani Nkam­bule dis­closed that the com­pany aims to live up to the billing of be­ing a Swazi com­pany and play­ing its part in boost­ing the lo­cal econ­omy.

In an un­prece­dented move, Swazi Mo­bile shared its ac­counts dur­ing a press brief­ing on Fri­day at their of­fices, show­ing a list of the com­pa­nies that have been con­tracted by Swazi Mo­bile since in­cep­tion. This, ex­plained Nkam­bule, was to show Swazis that the com­pany is purely Swazi and the re­sources will be spent or cir­cu­lated around the Swazi econ­omy.

About 248 sup­pli­ers or com­pa­nies have to date ben­e­fited since Swazi Mo­bile was li­cenced af­ter the lib­er­al­i­sa­tion of the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tion in­dus­try.

The com­pany dis­closed that 95 per cent of its sup­pli­ers were lo­cal com­pa­nies. “A lot of the money we have spent on help­ing start-ups, who we helped by pay­ing up­front for their ser­vices,” he added.

Nkam­bule ex­plained that they en­cour­aged start-ups, most of who have come to Swazi Mo­bile with busi­ness ideas that they bought into. He fur­ther dis­closed that some of the com­pa­nies are by startup en­trepreneurs. Nkam­bule clar­i­fied that MvTel was one of the com­pa­nies which least ben­e­fited from Swazi Mo­bile as it only got busi­ness worth less than E200 000. This he said as clar­i­fi­ca­tion that the sub­sidiary com­pany was not be­ing sus­tained by Swazi Mo­bile as their core busi­ness con­cern­trated on en­trepreneurs. The com­pany dis­closed that the com­pany has grown in leaps even though they were forced to bring new in­fras­truc­ture.

Nkam­bule said, “We have used lo­cal com­pa­nies and we have been im­pressed by the work ethic they dis­played, even though the per­cep­tion is that lo­cal com­pa­nies are not skilled and can­not de­liver, we took a cal­cu­lated risk with our trusted in­ter­nal risk anal­y­sis and it paid off.” Nkam­bule dis­closed that the com­pany con­cep­tu­alised and con­structed its own tow­ers us­ing lo­cal com­pany ex­per­tise. The com­pany dis­closed that if they were able to share net­work in­fras­truc­ture, as per pro­vi­sions by the reg­u­la­tor, they would

have at­tained 100 per cent net­work cov­er­age sooner. The com­pany said they would have used re­sources to boost cur­rent net­work in­fras­truc­ture while re­ha­bil­i­tat­ing those that are old. Swazi Mo­bile also dis­closed that they in­stalled tow­ers and are still in­stalling more in a bid to bring a 100 per cent ef­fec­tive light­ning speed net­work cov­er­age.

To meet ur­ban net­work de­mands, the com­pany dis­closed that they would en­hance some of the hot spots with high speed rooftop fre­quen­cies to ease net­work con­ges­tion. The com­pany fur­ther dis­closed they would up their game for the 4G net­work as in some spots where the net­work was weak, peo­ple were un­able to re­alise the ben­e­fit of the high speed net­work.

4G/LTE (Fourth Gen­er­a­tion /Long Term Evo­lu­tion) is the next stage in mo­bile net­work de­vel­op­ment and pro­vides users with much faster data speeds than 3G ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

Swazi Mo­bile also re­vealed that they would get listed on the Swazi­land Stock Ex­change as a pub­lic com­pany and re­vealed that they were wait­ing for few mi­nor de­tails.

The com­pany re­vealed that the is­suance of shares to the or­di­nary per­son who would or­di­nar­ily not com­pre­hend the so­phis­ti­ca­tion of trad­ing once the com­pany was listed in the stock ex­change was for the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

Swazi Mo­bile staff in a jovial mood as they end the cus­tomer week.

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