…Le1.4 trillion in four years
March 31, 2021
By Fadda Bakish
The National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM), held its Consumer Parliament in Bo City on Friday 26th March 2021. The Commission brought together various stakeholders, including Mobile Network Operators, Civil Society Organizations, Media, and Consumers amongst others at the 2021 Consumer Parliament with the theme “Digital Penetration for Consumer Satisfaction in Telecommunications”.
Orange Mobile Company was widely acclaimed during and after the presentation of its Head of Legal and Company’s Secretary, Haffie Hafner. She confidently ascended on the podium as the first speaker amongst other MNOs and was able to capture the attention of her audience who were amazed to hear a catalog of services and developmental projects undertaken by the country’s telecommunications choice. “We strongly believe that digital inclusion is a major accelerator for inclusive growth, economic and societal development, as well as a success factor in achieving Sustainable Development Goals. This is why digitalization has been a core pillar in Orange strategy and we have over the last 4 years played an integral role in the digital transformation of Sierra Leone,” she remarked.
The company has an investment of over Le1.4 trillion and it has been at the forefront of connecting the 7million plus people in Sierra Leone with 3G and 4G network services. Today, Orange can boast of over 440 sites in the country, with 100% of its sites are at least 3G compatible meaning that customers can access the internet from every Orange site around the country. It is further praised for having the widest network covering 74% of the population, meaning 4 out of every 5 Sierra Leoneans is an Orange customer with access to voice and data services.
Hafner furthered that the company has enriched the products and services catalog to ensure customer satisfaction. “We are committed to the Expansion of Internet penetration in SL and providing the best Quality of Service is a priority with our Data Portfolio and Network: More than 140% reduction in Price with more volume for our customers in the last 4 years; With Speed and Quality as our driver we launched Di real 4G with sites in every region of SL, and to complement the Educational sector and improve the capacity of our students we launched the most affordable data offer for Schools & Universities called SPAK,” she said and added that the company remains the leader in mobile financial services and continue to enrich its portfolio by being the first mover in international remittance and microloan services. “We are also the first partner for energy, mobile for development in agriculture, education, and health. Our Diversification strategy will strongly impact digital inclusion in Sierra Leone as we launch our Orange business to include new opportunities the first-ever,” the Head of Legal and Company’s Secretary noted.
Giving an overview of the Consumer Parliament, Ambassador Joe Blell, NATCOM’s Chairman said even though there are difficult tasks ahead in the telecoms sector, there is the need for effective collaboration to bridge the digital gap in the sector, and added that NATCOM is part of a global community that is why it has to follow certain regulations that govern international telecoms best practices. “ICT is not a child’s play and so we should do things of international standards,” he said and further noted that the country cannot develop without communications. “We have to take everybody along through rural connectivity. Cell sites should be taken to everywhere across the country,” he advised.
NATCOM’s Director-General, Daniel B. Kaitibi was happy to celebrate his first year in office as Director-General with a Consumer parliament successfully held. He commended the massive turnout of stakeholders and revealed that the Consumer Parliament will be made twice annually.