There is a slim chance that you may not remember Mtel, the GSM mobile subsidiary of Nigeria’s state-owned NITEL. Here is the brief story. While private GSM companies expanded and smiled to the bank with billions of naira after paying hefty sums for their licences, Mtel who got a licence on a platter of gold struggled and died in just a few years. At last count, Mtel had a little over 200,000 active subscribers before its death years ago. It was subsequently liquidated along with NITEL.
The Nigerian government has finally succeeded in selling off NITEL/Mtel to one NATCOM Consortium for $252,251,000 (N45,922,264,700.53). At this point, no one is sure about who are those behind NATCOM Consortium, but we shall find out soon enough. We shall also find out if they have what it takes to resurrect Mtel and make the mobile operator a toast of subscribers nationwide.
A few things that Mtel can do right away to make a splash in the market during re-entry:
- introduce more pocket-friendly voice and data tariffs, especially the latter
- forget about a 2G network and start off with a 3.75G network for data: 100% 3.75G network coverage
- deliver superior quality service
It is a very short list, but one that will see subscribers look their way. Mtel will certainly have to do away with their now archaic tag line, “talk the talk”, and the thinking behind it. We are no longer in the age of talk.