By Prince Osuagwu
LAGOS — Helios Investment Partners, HIP, owners of Helios Towers Nigeria, Friday, returned Multilink telecommunications company back into the Nigerian market after announcing a 100 per cent buy-off of Telkom South Africa’s shares in the business.
This is even as the company made a quick call to the Nigerian government to provide aid to the ailing CDMA operators in Nigeria to prevent their total eclipse in the Nigerian economy.
Multilinks Nigeria, a telecommunications company founded in 1997 to provide handheld and fixed wireless telephone service integrated with high speed Internet service among other services became cash strapped and suffered gradual decline in the telecommunications market, particularly in the face of bourgeoning GSM services in the country.
Announcing the new acquisition in Lagos, Chairman of Helios Investment Limited, Mr Martins Dirk, promised that the company would try its best in turning the fortunes of the telecommunications company around, bringing back the services and products which he claimed have served many Nigerian telecommunications users better.
He also announced the appointment of a Nigerian telecommunication engineer, Mr Demola Elesho as the Chief Executive Officer of the new Multi-Links.
adding that with Mr Elesho and a host of other Nigerians at the top echelon of the new company, there were hopes of a new dawn.
Although he observed that the long transition leading up to the latest acquisition of Multi-Links, caused uncertainty and resulted in churn on Multi-Links’ network, he also expressed optimism that with the quality of infrastructure already on ground, a turn around was almost very easy.
He said, “ MultiLinks has a fibre optic network offering national data transmission capacity and limited metro and last mile connectivity and significant investment including total capital investment in excess of $1 billion has been made into this network, increasing the footprint of the network more than six fold over the past 4 years.
“Multi-Links constructed its terrestrial fibre optic network connecting 21 of Nigeria’s 36 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja at a cost of over $150 million. Multi-Links’ terrestrial fibre optic network is one of only four active national and the only open access fibre optic networks in Nigeria and is the only independent national transmission network.
Multi-Links’ terrestrial fibre optic network spanning 8,232km provides access to several circa tower sites across several major cities in Nigeria.
Before now, Multi-Links has focused more on the construction and expansion of its terrestrial fibre optic network than on selling capacity on this network to potential customers. Currently Multi-Links’ terrestrial fibre optic networks’ business model entails selling bandwidth to carriers and enterprise customers”.
He noted that Multi-Links was currently focused on improving its performance through cost efficiency, selective penetration and targeting of medium to high-end customer acquisition and retention.
For him, Multi-Links’ business is currently being refocused to achieve improved and cost efficient performance. Multi-Links is still in the Nigerian market and currently focusing on serving our customers in the 22 service areas namely Lagos, Port Harcourt, Owerri, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Makurdi, Abuja, Jos, Bauchi, Katsina, Kano, Kaduna, 1I0rin, Ife, Osogbo, Ibadan, Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode, Warri and Benin where we currently operate better.