MTN plans $250 million Côte d'Ivoire upgrade

MTN Group is reportedly planning a $250 million investment in the upgrade of its network in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa.

The South African operator is the largest in the African region, but stands at number two in Côte d'Ivoire, behind France’s Orange.

Wim Vanhelleputte, CEO of MTN’s Côte d'Ivoire unit, told reporters in Abidjan this week: “We want to be first.”

MTN will spend 40 billion CFA francs in 2014 to upgrade and extend its network in the country, and has similar investment strategies over the next two years.

“Today we have a market share of 37% [in Côte d'Ivoire],” Vanhelleputte said. “We are aiming to go to at least 40%, and that will be possible through this kind of investment.”

MTN holds a 1,000km fibre-optic network in Abidjan, and is expected to focus on upgrading its network in line with demands for faster data services.

In April this year, Swiss-based YooMee announced plans to launch a TD-LTE network in Côte d'Ivoire.