MTN Swaziland has admitted that users of its long-delayed 3G network are experiencing problems with the service due to a lack of bandwidth. Corporate affairs manager Mpumelelo Makhubu told the Times of Swaziland that the South African-owned cellco has applied for additional spectrum from the Swaziland Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (SPTC), but has yet to receive a response from the regulator. Although Makhubu declined to elaborate on the precise details of the technical issues, the newspaper claims that the ‘network is still sluggish because there is an acute shortage of bandwidth’.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, MTN’s 3G network finally launched in October 2011, following a lengthy war of words between the cellco and the SPTC, which saw the latter accuse MTN of making unreasonable demands regarding 3G exclusivity. During the launch event, chief marketing officer Phillip Besiimire confirmed that the cellco had invested nearly SZL300 million (USD37.2 million) on the network, of which SZL37 million went on the long-denied 3G licence. Besiimire added that the company is also obliged to pay the SPTC a percentage of its profits as part of the agreement.