Telecommunications is the exchange of information over a significant distance by electronic means these include mobile phones, computer, land lines, satellite phones and voice over internet protocol (VOIP).
Telecommunication is a term coming from Greek which means ‘communication from a distance’ through signals of varied nature coming from transmitter to a receiver. A complete, single telecommunications circuit consists of two stations, each equipped with a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter and receiver at any station will alternatively be put into a single device known as transceiver. The medium of signal conveyance can be electrical wire or cable, optical fibre or electromagnetic fields. (source http://searchtelecom.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid103_gci1262258,00.html)
The free-space transmission and reception of data by means of electromagnetic fields is called wireless.
In the early years before the modern technology of today, some other forms of telecommunications exist they are; relay fires or beacons. It is used mostly in conflict; relay fire required a handful of men posted along a range of hilltops with the last man closest to the area where troop movement was expected. In order to achieve effective communication, the choice of a proper means of transfer for the signal has played (and still plays) a fundamental role.
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However, these types of communications were insecure and certainly left room for improvement as they did not permit message encryption or a fast transmission of information on a large scale. Electromagnetic energy, in fact, is able to transport information in an extremely fast way (ideally to the speed of light), in a way that previously had no equals in terms of costs reliability.
Staying abreast current development with the first experiments on more advanced ways of communication system begun. In 1809, Thomas S. Sommering proposed a telegraphic system composed of a battery, 35 wires (one for each letter and number) and a group of sensors made of gold, which were submerged in a water tank: when a signal was passing from one of those wires, electrical current would split water molecules, and small oxygen bubbles would be visible near that sensor. Many other experiments were soon to follow: Wheatstone, Weber and Karl Friedrich Gauss tried to further develop Sommering’s idea in a product that could be mass distributed, but their efforts were without success. In 1843, the year in which Samuel Morse proposed a way to assign each letter and number to a ternary code (point, line, and space). This way turned out to be extremely convenient and more affordable than Sommering’s idea; especially in terms of reduced circuitry (you wouldn’t need Anymore a wire for each symbol). Meanwhile, technology became advanced enough to find a way to convert those signals in audible (or sometimes graphic) signals. The combination of these two factors quickly determined the success of Morse’s symbol code, which we can still find useful today.
However, the telegraph could still be used just by trained personal and in certain buildings like offices, so it could only be used by a limited amount of people. Research of the time therefore took another direction and aimed at producing a machine that could transmit sounds, rather than just signals. The first big step in this direction was the invention of transducers which could transform an acoustic signal into an electric one and vice versa (microphone and receiver) with acceptable information loss, in 1850.
TELECOMMUNICATION IN NIGERIA;
Nigeria is rated as one of the fast growing telecommunication industries in the world as the emergence of different means of telecommunication and competition amongst rival telecommuters in the industry.
As at December 1986 the total number of subscribers to telephone lines was put around 230,000 while Telex subscribers were only 5,300 in number. Total installed capacity for telephone then was 320,834 and telex 11,577.Telephone utilization therefore was 71.6 per cent while telex was approximately 45.7 per cent. With advancement in telecommunication provision for new class of service, improved revenue generation with properly reviewed tariff policy. In 2008 Nigeria ranked 68 in telephone usage with 1.308 million main lines and 16 in mobile cellular with 62,988 million. And today with a total population of 152,217,341 in July 2010 (CIA The world fact book)
MTN Group Limited is a multinational telecommunications group that provides network access for mobiles and business solutions. It has established itself in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East; it has subscribed more than 100 million subscribers as at December 2009, (www.mtn.com)
MTN Nigeria is a part of the MTN Group, Africa’s leading Telecommunications Company. It came into being in Nigeria on May 2001 as the first GSM network to make a call following the globally lauded Nigerian GSM auction conducted by the Nigerian Communications Commission earlier in the year. Thereafter the company launched full commercial operations beginning with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
MTN paid $285m for one of four GSM licenses in Nigeria in January 2001.To date, in excess of US$1.8 billion has been invested constructing mobile telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria (mtnonline.com). Since its launch in August 2001, MTN has gradually deployed its services across Nigeria. Offering services to 223 cities and towns, more than 10,000 villages and communities with an ever increasing number of highways across the country, straddling the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (mtnonline.com). A lot of these villages and communities are being connected to the world of telecommunication first time ever. The company’s digital microwave transmission backbone, the 3,400 Kilometre Y’elloBahn was commissioned by the President of Nigeria at that time Olusegun Obasanjo in January 2003 and is reputed to be the most extensive digital microwave transmission infrastructure in all of Africa. The Y’elloBahn has significantly helped to enhance call quality on MTN network. MTN offers a wide range of service in mobile telecommunication which comprise both data and voice services such as picture messages, text message, broadband, car/container tracker and other services that make the company to grow swiftly.
The word structure implies the formal reporting relationship of levels in hierarchy and the span of control of managers and supervisors, to ensure effective communication, coordination, and integration of effort across department. (Pinto 2007: p46). The purpose is to enable good performance by linking individuals, groups of firms into a coherent and cohesive system that will speed up decision making and decision implementation. MTN’s organizational structure is applicable to all branches irrespective of geographical location. It consists of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who represents the company everywhere except for some decisions which require MTN management to be involved. MTN could fix meeting often to discuss matters which concerns the company in general.
MTN Group Structure
MTN has operated on a simplified matrix structure. The matrix culture handles more effectively situations and was used to expand to various projects in various countries (Linstead et al 2009: p217). The structure enables the countries to link with each other effectively.
EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT OF MTN (NIGERIA)
With the ever increasing entrance to the market especially one as demanding as the telecommunication providers, existing providers such as MTN is expected to build a shock absorber that will make a name and remain a number one choice to its consumers otherwise it will lose its place in the market. The analysis of a firm is to assess its performance in relation with the outside environment and its performance within its own environment. For the market to succeed it will have to study the business environment and be able to manage it, by constantly being aware of its development. We have two major factors to be taken into consideration regarding business environment they are the External and the Internal Environment.
MTN is aware of the need to study its market trends, as a business that operates in emerging markets; MTN believes that risk management is fundamental to effective corporate governance and the development of a sustainable business. MTN Nigeria has adopted a risk philosophy that is intended at maximizing business accomplishment and investor value by effectively balancing risk and reward.
MTN’s overall governance structure and integrated risk management framework guides the operations of our business units, which are primarily responsible and accountable for risk management they are internal and external factor within the organization. The external forces are the PEST which stands for Political, Economical, Social, and Technological. Whereas the internal forces are SWOT meaning Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat.
MTN is being affected through various government policies like tax, license registration, Ownership of official property, minimum wage income this will affect the company and potential customers.
The need to get government approval before an infrastructural building commences, for this is paramount for network coverage to be set up. The irregularities of government policies influence the business a great deal with the introduction of the NCC in 1992 whose responsibility is to issue license to private telecoms companies providing varieties of telecom services to the Nigerian populace. Be that as it may, the present government still influences telecom policies, interconnection agreements and the empowerment of NCC. According to NCC, deregulated telecommunications services include:
Sales and Installation of Terminal equipment (Mobile Cellular Phones, Satellite Communication and Switching equipments etc); Public Payphone Services; Internet Services; Prepaid Calling Card Services; Community Telephony with exchanges; Paging Services; Trunk and 2-Way Radio Network Services; Fixed Telephony Services, employing cable and Radio; Satellite Network.
This affects the purchasing power of customers and the company cost; the growth level will either make a rich GDP or mar it.
MTN has contributed immensely to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria and just like as it is stated in its mission statement, it is living up to it and achieving it. MTN has embarked on various innovative projects; it also embarks to support some developmental project.
Deregulation of the telecommunications sector led to the introduction of major Global System of Mobile Communications (GSM) Such as MTN Nigeria, Globacom, Zain, Etisalat, Starcomms, and MTEL. Nigeria’s government had earlier provided right for liberalization by setting up Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Installing of base stations and its operations and protecting them cost a lot of money. MTN spend so much in securing and installing these base stations and as a result of this, it affects them economically.
This reflects how MTN Nigeria relates with its society in the business environment, how it makes life richer. MTN Nigeria has introduced various social services just to make the lives of masses good. They introduced free night calls where love birds can talk all night to themselves for free all night, they introduced Family and Friends where members of the same family can talk to each other at a cheaper rate, they also introduced Weekend free calls, unique caller tunes and Ring tones. MTN has packages to suit various individual needs, ranging from the CEO class to a junior employee.
MTN was also the first to introduce bonus on every recharge made from a certain credit worth and this paved the way for other competitors to follow suit. MTN Nigeria has the society in mind and by way of giving back to the society; MTN supports and in most cases take full responsibility in the sustainability of corporate social initiatives. It goes as far as sponsoring some medical care to the rural areas and give scholarships to the less privileged in the society. MTN provided viewing centres for FIFA 2010, only recently MTN foundation empowered 400 disabled persons in Ondo state of Nigeria and due to several recognition of MTNN positive impact in the society she earned for herself several awards;
In keeping to the fast pace innovation in telecom services MTN recently introduced micro sim card for iPhone4 and Apple ipad users in Nigeria History. To date MTN has received various accolades as they continue to make the lives of Nigerians better with its unwavering quality service. The various accolades include:
Best Corporate Tax Payer in the communications industry for the year 2005/2006.
Titans of Technology award as GSM Company of the Year awarded by ICT Africa.
Distinguished Corporate Award for contributions to the development and promotion of the human resources profession in Nigeria, awarded by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management.
GSM Company of the Year Award at the Lagos Enterprise Awards.
Best Health Merit Award, awarded by the Lagos State Government.
MTN also helps in creating awareness of malaria, cholera and HIV, and possible ways of eradicating it through so many programmes and as a way of bringing its services to lime light MTN sponsors football matches not just within Nigeria but to the rest of Africa and also sponsors some social and educative programs on TV examples include the programme; ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, which is now a household name in Nigeria. This is one program that has given hope to so many people who had little or no hope of financially attaining their goals in life. MTN also introduced a brain child of who wants to be a Millionaire programme which is ‘Who deserves to be a millionaire’ where Nigerian heroes who have been uncelebrated where brought to limelight on Television and are celebrated. They are acknowledged for bringing Nigeria to where she is today.
In line with MTN Nigeria’s E-objectives which is to be at the fore front of technology by bringing innovative use of technology in attaining goals, MTN has a lot of products that aims to keep up with the increasingly IT (information technology). MTN has introduced various technologies that have made the society better. Amongst them are;
3.5G Mobile Broadband (Fast link USB modem or Data card): This is a higher version of the 2G version of broadband. It was introduced to make surfing the internet very fast.
Mobile Internet: This was introduced to make surfing of the internet easy. It was introduced so that wherever a person is, the internet can be surfed even using a mobile phone
Conference calls: This was used to connect various people on one call. It is mainly used by business people to transact business or hold meetings.
Pro-link, Fun link, Biz link, Happy link and Smart link (Tariff plans)
Caller tunes and Ring tones
Roaming And international top up
MTN freebies (Google SMS, MTN Eye, MTN SIM plus, MTN share and sell, MTN call me back, MTN connect, MTN fast mail, MTN backup, etc.
It is interesting to know that MTN Nigeria is not stopping with a lot going on for them, MTN recently signed a US$40mn network partnership deal with Chinese equipment vendor Huawei Technologies in October 2010, and MTN plans to expand network coverage to 850 villages without telecoms services by the end of 2011. (Business Monitor International) Nigeria – Telecoms – Nov 1 2010
SWOT Analysis looks at the internal factors affecting a firm. SWOT means Strength, weaknesses, opportunity and threat.
Being the first in the market always has a long overriding advantage even though it is not always the case but for MTN it is. MTN was the first telecoms providers to come into Nigeria and that changed the pattern of communication in Nigeria. It has enough strength because it has affected the lives of the society. With the birth of MTN, Nigerian Telecommunication Limited which was already epileptic died a very natural death. Before the introduction of MTN, Nigerians had to go through difficult process with communicating with people. People living faraway from each other communicated by sending letters through the post office which was not effective at that time. Installation of phone lines by NITEL was difficult because so many processes had to be followed but when MTN was introduced, communication became easier even if it was costly. All the average man had to do was to buy a mobile phone and a SIM card and he could communicate easily with whoever he wishes to communicate with. This liberation from difficult communication process is still fresh in the mind of Nigerians and that is one of the major Strengths MTN has. They have also caught the mind of the society with its various freebies which is just to make life cheaper. The populace would not have hope for anything better than that which MTN has brought them
MTN still has ongoing project with the use of fibre optic cables. Fibre optic cables make communication easier when installed. It is better than the time wasting installation of Network cables. Fibre optics is plastic core that transmits digital signals in the form of light pulses. This is a weakness for MTN because Globacom communications which is its great competitor has begun implementing the use of fibre optics for its communication.
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Road and transportation is another area where MTN has weakness. The lack of good roads in some parts of Nigeria has a high impact on the deployment and erection of network base stations. There is delay in the distribution to areas where MTN wants to install network base station because of lack of good roads. This affects MTN because there would be no way to increase its customer base if some local areas are not captured
The telecommunication market is an open one with no king, making it possible for customers to get competitive and innovative services. With the nature of the telecommunication market it is only natural that competition will be fierce towards attracting customers and making a name in the market. This will only be achieved with a good foresight into the future needs and harness the opportunity of providing them. With this in mind MTN has begun expanding to many parts of Nigeria, providing network services to locality that have not had the benefit of telecommunication ever. MTN has stated it has plans to connect the undeserving areas by 2011, this has made MTN popular and with the increasing population making its customers multiply.
MTN also has a lot of freebies most importantly the free midnight calls which allows loved ones talk to each other all through the night. With all these freebies, MTN has set out to etch its brand in the mind of Nigerians.
The telecommunication market been an open one has made it challenging for MTN to carve a tent for itself and define a position, with various competitors in the market such as Globacom, Etisalat, Zain, Starcomms, M-tel, Multilinks and Reliance with most of them offering lower call rates, MTN has great and fierce competitors with Globacom as the chief.
The issue of vandalizing is also a threat to MTN because vandals still vandalize underground network cables and fibre optics cable making MTN spend lots of money re-installing them. The unreliable power supply in Nigeria has contributed to about 60% of network failures leaving MTN a monthly expense of approximately N223 million on alternate power supply.
Community issues in Niger delta region of Nigeria is also a threat to MTN because the militants in the Niger delta kidnap expertise and demand large amount of ransom in exchange of the expertise.
Schein (1997) defines organization culture as the deep, essential assumptions and beliefs that are shared by organizational members. Culture is a way of life and cannot be seen on the outside; instead it is hidden and often unconscious. (Stewart Clegg etal; 2009, 224)
VISION AND MISSION
“Our vision is to be the leading provider of Telecommunications services in Nigeria with a mission to provide 1st class network quality, customer service and value”
MTN’S overriding mission is to be a catalyst for Nigeria’s economic growth and development, helping to unleash Nigeria’s strong developmental potential not only through the provision of world class communications but also through innovative and sustainable corporate social responsibility initiatives.
VALUES AND OBJECTIVES
MTN is continually aimed at giving quality and innovative services to customer, making a name in the global competitive market of telecommunication, and it keeps spreading out to other African countries.
The values of MTN have been very high in Nigeria. They have successfully built a strong name thereby creating a strong brand image. They touch lives of people and make people recognize their works in the society through various developmental projects.
The objective of MTN is to reach every zone in Nigeria and they are working hard to achieve it through the installation of various fibre optics and base stations in the remotest part of Nigeria.
Strategy is the intended way in which an organization tends to follow. MTN’s strategic agenda is to be the foremost leader providing telecommunications in various countries and in emerging market. MTN group has continued to embark on major projects all over the country where its presence is. These projects that are being embarked on, increases the growth in subscribers as it provides quality network. MTN has strategically built its strategy on three pillars. They include:
Consolidation and Diversification
In the face of competition, MTN believes that consolidation in the telecommunication sector would continue as achieving better economies of sales and spreading earnings over more markets would be a determinant factor of its success.
As a result of these, MTN has strategically made sure that each of its transaction is evaluated in the interest of the customers and shareholders. The company has also made sure that they continue to source for new ways of having comparative low advantages in their product.
Leveraging MTN’s footprint and intellectual capacity
MTN has established itself as the leader in telecommunications in Nigeria. It has plans in place to control its brand to achieve continued growth and be more efficient. The strategy for doing this has been by securing more viable pricing from vendors.
MTN also has a strategy to regulate its IT architecture and to continue to pursue opportunities from its network competence by increasing its values. The staffs of MTN possess valuable skills, enough experience and passion. The company leverages these skills to transfer knowledge across the business and providing the staff with access for growth in their various careers.
Convergence and Operational evolution
MTN has strategic plans to increase its wireless base connectivity and packages. MTN has embarked on each of these strategies. The strategies include:
improvement of the GSM network to one based on internet protocol;
securing WiMax licenses and establishing services using this technology;
securing modern fibre transmission facilities;
bandwidth on high-capacity submarine cables;
securing 3G licenses and ISPs; and
Establishing its Internet Service Providers.
MTN has also changed its product offers by supporting its technology and working with its partners to gain access in the global market. The company has strategic plan in place to also gain access to various products including music, sports, games and more. MTN’s business model covers its infrastructures from fully owned to an infrastructure sharing model. This strategic plan would enable the company to gain grounds in international voice and data traffic which would lead to cost reduction and improved quality service. (Source: www.mtnnigeria.com)
Organizational change seeks to understand the The pace of change is ever increasing – particularly with the advent of the Internet and the rapid deployment of new technologies, new ways of doing business and new ways of conducting one’s life. Organisational Change Management seeks to understand the opinion of the target population and work with them to promote efficient delivery of the change and enthusiastic support for its results.
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