Hardly two months in office as the newly appointed CEO for Orange Botswana, has Dr Patrick Benon raised industry concerns such as lack of land for network towers, vandalism of network towers as well as load shedding.
In an interview on Friday with Sunday Standard, Dr Benon who stated work December 1st 2014 noted that availability of land is crucial as it enables expansion of the network coverage which improves quality of service. He said that in some instances land is not available to build new sites while some landlords for existing sites ask them to remove their sites for various reasons.
“We have experienced an overwhelming theft of batteries at our network towers over the past two years. This often affects network reception to our customers. We are currently working on measures to minimise this risk,” said Benon.
On the issue of load shedding, Orange Botswana CEO stated that network equipment including base stations use electricity for performance therefore power shortages directly affect the network quality of service.
He is of the view that there have been a shift in the way people view and use data as more services and industries require the support of data. Benon added that as Orange Botswana they are responding to that by putting in place technologies and interventions that can effectively address the demand.
He also pointed out in the last two years the company has invested more than P200 million on expanding coverage of high speed internet (3G) across the country.
“Our plan is to increase further the data coverage in the country as well as improve the quality of service and align our business with the requirements of the national broadband strategy,” he said.
Benon is optimistic that the company is committed to using its technology and brand strength to improve the lives of its stakeholders adding that it will be achieved through being concerned with the well being of the employees, providing the best customer experience in the market as well as delivering on the promises and giving value to the customers.
“We pride ourselves in being number one when it comes to being the most innovative in the market. We will therefore, leverage on our Orange Group expertise and our own technical infrastructure and competence to deliver innovative services that bring value to Batswana,” said Benon.
He further spoke of the company concluding a technical transformation project last year whose aim was to further improve and enhance the quality of service, to significantly improve customer experience and operational optimisation. He added that his role is to fully implement the vision of this transformation project and ensure that its objectives come to fruition.
He believes that their services have become daily necessities in people’s lives, therefore, to secure a sustainable relationship with the customers they have to ensure that their services are available at locations convenient and in close proximity with the customers. He noted the 19 shops across the country providing the full bouquet of Orange services adding that recently they refurbished four of their shops and are in the process of refurbishing all their main shops in order to give the best customer experience.
“On Orange financial inclusion, the demand for Orange money services has grown tremendously over the last three years and it is our strategy to keep growing the Orange money eco-system,” he stated.
Before coming to Orange Botswana, Dr Benon had been CEO of Orange in Central African Republic for over three years and prior to that, he was CEO of Benin Telecoms for over four years including being Deputy CEO of Benin telecoms.