SIERRATEL Outlines Priorities For 2019
The Sierra Leone Telecommunication (Sierratel) has outlined its five (5) top priorities for 2019 at the ongoing bilateral budgets discussions held in the Bank Complex, Freetown last Thursday.
In his Presentation, the Managing Director, Engineer Senessie Kallon said the five priorities include the expansion of the 4G/LTE Network infrastructure by implementing phase 2 and 3 to service new areas and to ease the current congestion particularly in Freetown, expansion of the Outside Plant Network in the various exchange areas such as Kenema, Bo, Bo, Jui and Aberdeen, enhance the functionalities of the billing platform to cater for value added services, expansion of fiber to offices and homes and cost efficiency improvement and more efficient use of CAPEX (Prudent Financial Discipline).
On the budgets summary, Engineer Kallon explained that Earnings before Interest Tax Amortization and Depreciation (EBITDA) is projected to grow by Le 3Bn from Le 8.8.3Bn to Le 11.3Bn for 2019 “This is before normalization of the Le 17Bn projected to be paid to NATCOM in 2019”, said Mr. Kallon and furthered that if normalized, the growth in EBITDA is over Le 20Bn for 2019.
He discussed that Gross Revenue for the budgeted period is expected to grow by 35% in 2019 and mentioned that with exception of taxes, Le 3Bn is projected to be paid to governmental agencies.
However, Engineer Kallon stated that for the two above to materialize, SIERRATEL needs to invest in the following infrastructures (1), 4G/LTE data Network (2) decommissioning of the CDMA Network and commissioning a 2G GSM Network for voice, (3) increase in the number of exchanges to provide Fixed Line Telephony services to new areas (Voice and Data), and (4) increase fiber connections to Corporate and SMEs.
In view of all the above, Engineer Kallon said, SIERRATEL will need to increase its CAPEX Spend for 2019 to Le 44Bn from Le 12.5Bn in 2018 adding that equipments for this expansion needs to be procured now so that they can be deployed between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019.
He said the vision of SIERRATEL positioned as a one-stop shop for the provision of converged communications services for Sierra Leone’s socio-economic development adding that the mission of SIERRATEL is to build a better life for all through available, affordable and sustainable efficient telecommunication and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
Engineer Kallon concluded that their core values are integrity, transparency, fairness, accountability, innovation and excellence.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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