* CEO maintains aim for 50% mobile market share
* ICT acquisitions in 2014; €5 mln investment for 4G
MTN Cyprus has set an ambitious course to diversify its revenue base and portfolio of telecom services by focusing heavily on the newly established MTN Business operations with two dedicated centres in Nicosia and Limassol.
CEO Philip van Dalsen told a press briefing that the new operation had already signed up 4,000 corporate clients and that even some government services, until recently a monopoly of the state-run Cyta, are gradually opening up to public tenders and providers.
He said that the Police was one such example, while the MTN Business division is already recruiting, with the aim to hire 25 more sales staff. With the personnel growing from 390 to 410, van Dalsen admitted that some services will provided by suppliers while MTN may even consider acquisitions in the ICT sector, probably next year.
The telco’s CEO said that the situation at rival Cyta was not the best for the state-owned provider which is currently “imploding” under the burden of scandals.
He added that the MTN Group is generally retail-oriented and that the Cyprus model is being closely monitored as a potential formula for success in other countries as well.
Van Dalsen said that MTN’s four core strength are its network superiority, most attractive packages, customer service with 20 outlets, and the biggest choice of smartphones and devices.
He added that the company’s market share is closer to 38%, compared to the 29% as appeared in the telecom regulator’s six-monthly survey, while he remains on target to reach a 50% market share by the end of 2014. MTN claims to have acquired 330,000 new subscribers from the beginning of the year, while novel services, such as the 50% discount on news SIMs and the recently-launched Family Plan, will continue.
Van Dalsen said that the company’s investment plans include some 30 mln euros in technology and network upgrades over the next three years, while 5 mln of that will be used for the new 4G platform alone, that needs to be tested arduously before being released.
Although he said that “Cyprus doesn’t need a third mobile operator”, he clarified that MTN’s cooperation with Primetel was “very good” and would continue.
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