Monday, August 15, 2022

BTCL accelerates change programme

Botswana Telecommunication Corporation Limited said its change programme is entering the second phase which will see all its billing systems converged into a single platform, bringing cost benefits to the group and convenience benefits to the customer.
BTCL and beMOBILE have been running parallel billing systems since the inception of the mobile phone division.
The group’s Managing Director, Paul Taylor, said the company recently re-aligned the organisation to its strategy such that they are now one team focused on selected market segments and added that over the coming months the new organisation will be the platform for further innovations and efficiency improvements.
“Our strategy has always incorporated aspects of asset separation and privatisation. We aim to become a converged company selling fixed and mobile and converged products to specific market segments,” said Taylor.
Asked on the separation of BTCL assets and BTCL as essentially a retail function, Taylor pointed out that BTCL will continue to operate in both retail and wholesale markets.
He stated that the accelerating change programme will deliver improved levels of automation across both of these areas of the business, which in turn will lead to further efficiencies.
“BTCL currently has relatively low levels of automation. By the end of the programme automation should be at, or close to, world class standards,” he said.
Taylor highlighted that BTCL rolled out the metro area network in 2007. He also said it is a high speed network that allows transportation of high capacity bandwidth of up to one gig and supports multiple business applications, all through a single link.
“The metro area network was initially available in Gaborone but has since been extended to all the main centres, including Francistown, Palapye, Selibe-Phikwe, Maun, Jwaneng, Lobatse, Orapa and Ghanzi,” Taylor stated.
He has spoken about BTCL rolling out the Next Generation Network (NGN) in 2008 that NGN is a transport medium that uses Internet Protocol (IP) technology, allowing multiple applications to connect services simultaneously without limit.
BTCL MD pointed out that some of the innovative service offerings enabled by the NGN network include scalable telephone connections as opposed to the traditional systems used; broadband services like ADSL and video conferencing, voice conferencing.
“The introduction of these services has contributed positively to the growth of the economy as the country has been able to attract foreign direct investment. The NGN network is highly reliable and redundant, with a Network availability rate of 99 percent,” said Taylor.
Asked on what is in place in term of business model of generation income in the company after privatisation of BTCL, Taylor said the vision is about being “simply the best”.
“That means we will continue to strive for cost efficiencies whilst we built an advanced converged portfolio of products supported by world class IT and network infrastructure. We must put even greater emphasis on customer service putting the customer at the very centre of what we do. This customer-centricity is key to maintaining our position in the market and our place in the hearts and minds of the nation,” Taylor stated.
However, recently former Chief Executive Officer of PEEPA and Managing Director of Westcliff Capital Joshua Galeforolwe said the long awaited privatisation transactions BTCL which appears to be at an advanced stage, while an Initial Public Offering (IPO) of BTCL may be attractive to electorates in 2014, its efficacy and sustainability and profit sustainability is questionable.
Galeforolwe is of the view that most parastatal organisations have not delivered attractive rates of return consistently for a long time. He said for an IPO the desired result, the attraction of a strategic equity investor is a pre-condition to a successful IPO of a state owned enterprise.

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