November 29, 2008 2040 VIEWS

US firm acquires 30% stake in joint venture with MTA

- As company list N19.574 billion shares on NSE

“Mass Telecom Innovation Plc (MTI) started operations in the year 2002 as an Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Company  to provide a broad spectrum of world-class telecommunication products and services especially in the areas of sales, installation and maintenance of telecommunication switching and transmission equipment such as telephone exchanges, (Switches, Gatekeepers, GSM Base Transceiver stations) V-SATs, Carrier Grade Microwave Radios, Copper and Fibre Optic cable splicing and termination to corporate organizations. The company has grown steadily by building capacities harnessing local expertise and international skills in project management and contracting services.

MTI Plc has strong brand value leveraging on competent and professionals hands with vast experience in telecommunication services whilst maintaining good relationship with clients. It has spin-off three subsidiaries within the short period of operation to include; MTI Contracting Services Limited, MTI-Unitower Services Limited and MTI-Integrated Power Services Limited.

Our strength lies in our technical and management team and our ability to forge key partnership with both local and international telecommunication companies aimed to deliver world class telecommunication and infrastructure solutions. Our numerous technical partners with whom we have forged relationships with include but not limited to Italtel of Milan, Ceragon of Israel, G.M Selby Lcc of US and Eltek Valeria of Sweden” (Source: MTI Plc Company’s Profile made available to Proshare NI at the Nigerian Stock Exchange in Lagos Nigeria)


Proshare NI sought to find out more about Mass Telecom Innovation Plc (MTI) and its activities as a Telecom Service Infrastructure Provider in Nigeria.


In this interview with PETER OBIORA of Proshare NI, Franklin Karkitie Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the MTI discusses issues relating to the company’s future outlook; its expansion plan and market share in the telecom infrastructure providing business.


Other issues discussed include reward for investors of the company, post-listing fresh funds, its last Private Placement ( PP), partnership with a Miami, United States (US) based group and number of sites built so far by MTI and its products. Excerpts:



Future Outlook


We are in an emerging area of the Telecoms; business which is infrastructure, I see a lot of good potentials in it for MTI. Again, we see our shareholders gaining tremendously from this investment.


MTI has emerged after re-engineering as an infrastructure group with visions in Contracting, Infrastructure Sharing in Co-locations and Power. Each of these segments talks about infrastructure.


In power alone, we are looking at approximately a market of N200 billion, in terms of infrastructure sharing, it is a market of about N13 billion per annum, much more contracting.


The future of the industry is huge and we are well positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that are in it. However, with the right kind of structure, joint ventures and personnel, we hope to emerge as a company with good market share in the industry.


Telecom infrastructure and market size


Geographically, the requirements to cover Nigeria in terms of presence by telecom infrastructure operators are about 50,000 towers. This is required for effective communications; where you would not experience dropped calls; especially the Global Mobile System Communications (GSM) operators.


MTI and post listing fresh funds


In view of our business plans and projections including what we are looking at in terms of MTI’s market share, of course at one point in time, we are going to come back to raise more funds in the market for our expansion.


We are in the very medium term; looking at 25 percent of the market share and that would require a lot of money and investments.


The returns are huge; because the customers are there waiting to be serviced.


EDITOR’s NOTE:  As at the time of filling in this interview, Proshare NI could not get further details from MTI concerning its post-listing fund raising.


Reward to investors of MTI


Rewards come in different forms; some come in the form of dividend payout, bonus and capital appreciation. Considering everything that MTI has done in the last eight months, we have spent time restructuring and now we want to go out for the business in full.


We are going to see substantial returns more in the form of capital appreciation than paying dividends in the very short run. However, we would respond in paying dividends and issuing bonus in due time.


MTI and last Private Placement


Our last Private Placement (PP) was about 100 percent subscribed and all our shareholders have their share certificates issued to them. MTI in that Placement raised between N5.0 billion to N6.0 billion.


EDITOR’s NOTE:  Proshare NI could not get the Private Placement Memorandum of MTI Plc to clarify its true status. However, the company in Lagos Nigeria listed 4, 893,594,400 Ordinary Shares at N4.00 per share on the Floors of the NSE.


MTI products/ partnership


We have three spin-off companies, which include MTI Contracting which is an Engineering firm. The company build sites for the GSM and the Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Companies, they need cable infrastructure, which is a huge business that promises over N2.0 billion to N3.0 billion             Turnover per annum (PA).


Again, we have the co-location business which we are pursuing with the MTI Towers Spin-off vehicle, it is a joint venture between MTI and a Miami United States (US) based group. The stake is 70 percent and 30 percent for MTI and Miami Group respectively.


The business entails that we are going to be building, which we are already doing; owning and managing sites and the operators would rent them from us; rather than owning theirs.


This would complement what they are doing, it is huge business and the current market projection is about $13 billion (N1.521 trillion) in terms of Turnover, this is the size of the market.


Number of sites built by MTI


We have built well over 20 sites in Nigeria, but when you talk about how many we have, there is a whole lot of process on how to secure businesses from the operators.


They would furnish you with their roll out plan and basically you work on this basis. Right now we are doing a whole lot of work for these operators; putting into consideration their business plan.


In other parts of the world, operators rent sites but do not build theirs; it is only in Nigeria that operators are building, but we are trying to change that now.


Targeted market share


In the next five years, MTI is targeting a market share that is modestly 25 percent.


EDITOR’s NOTE:  Also as at the time of filling in this interview Proshare NI cannot ascertain the current market share of MTI in the telecom service infrastructure business in Nigeria.


MTI expansion policy


In the next two months, we hope to start operating in the West African sub-region countries of Ghana and Cote D’ Ivoire.


EDITOR’s NOTE:   In recent times, MTI is a company that approached the Nigerian Stock Exchange to list its shares by introduction; without furnishing its financial details.



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