MTN pushes for stringent laws to prevent Network Infrastructure Malicious Mischief

MTN Uganda CEO Mazen M
MTN Uganda outgoing CEO Mazen M

As the telecom regulator in Uganda UCC prepares to start penalizing telecom networks for poor network quality of service (QoS), all network have to prove to UCC that the poor (QoS) is caused by other factors and nothing to do with the network it’s self. On top of this list is the habitual malicious mischief and theft of network equipment including fiber cable cuts, stealing of fuel from network base stations. The telecom giant MTN Uganda has called for the institution of stringent laws to help apprehend culprits responsible for persistent damage of its network infrastructure to safeguard its investments.

According to the MTN Press Box with an interview with the MTN Chief Technical Officer, Rami Farah, he said

[signoff predefined=”Quotation” icon=”icon-username”]Persistent fiber damages put the business and customer quality at risk. We have seen some areas for instance, experiencing a total blackout for both voice calls and data services if both the protection and working routes are damaged. As a result, the network has also suffered high congestion levels due to a lack of coverage resulting in very poor call experience and dropped calls. As a means to safeguard the enormous investment in infrastructure development to ensure quality of service, MTN has embarked on building many rings to reinforce the transmission network and has to constantly reinforce the security at the sites to report on any activities likely to damage its fibre network. “Also, in areas where we have temporary aerial cable, we are trying as much as possible to bury it after the works. We are also starting to institute penalties on the Utility providers as a way to deter them from continuing to damage our fibre[/signoff]

MTN Uganda recorded more than 200 incidents of infrastructure vandalism in past 12 months

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The MTN Uganda Chief Executive Officer Mazen Mroué pointed out how Network downtime for business clientele usually results in big losses for the company. To reduce downtime of the network, MTN has massively invested in their network infrastructure to keep clients online 24/7. Their efforts are being sabotaged by never-ceasing network damages along their routes.

The CEO  Said

[signoff predefined=”Quotation” icon=”icon-username”]The continuous improvement in Network quality and services is being affected by different challenges including the increase in the number of vandalism cases on our Network infrastructure. For instance during the last 12 months, MTN Uganda recorded more than 200 incidents of infrastructure vandalism largely attributed to the theft of fiber cables by individuals and activities of road construction.[/signoff]

This is in addition to the fact that vandalism of our infrastructure escalates their operational costs, it also increases the workload of their Network Engineers and customer operations teams, and causes poor quality of service experienced by some of our subscribers due to network outages. The last Quality of service results from UCC saw Orange Uganda merge out as victor followed by MTN Uganda and the others followed.