Cellphone network operator, Airtel Malawi has said it has surpassed its three- year investment target of $100 million (over K40 billion) in the country’s telecommunications sector.
The company had planned to invest $100 million in three years, spanning the financial year 2010/11 to the financial year 2012/13.
But in an exclusive interview with Business News on Thursday, Airtel Malawi managing director Saulos Chilima disclosed that the company’s investment had already hit $130 million as it closed its financial year on 31st March 2013.
Chilima said the 2012/13 financial year alone saw the firm investing between $35 million (over K14 billion) and $40 million (over K16 billion).
He said a greater chunk of the resources have gone to investments in network as well as in property.
“On the commercial front, we continued to innovate 3.75 G and we had embarked on an aggressive drive to penetrate with Airtel Money as well as various promotions in the last financial year,” said Chilima.
Asked to justify its recent 25 percent increase in calling rates, Chilima said, overall, the company has seen its cost of doing business going up, but stressed that its recent Yabooka intervention continues to compensate its customers as it offers 60 percent discount.
Commenting on its client base, Chilima said currently the company has attained 3.2 million customers on its network and intends to grow such a number to 4.5 million within the next 12 to 18 months.