Heritage (Monrovia)

Liberia: Lonestar Cell MTN Adds New Sites Nationwide

The Management of Lonestar Cell MTN has consistently upgraded and optimized the performance of their various towers/sites around the country, being the only operator present in many parts of Liberia. For Lonestar Cell MTN, improving connectivity and building new sites/towers around the country is also a matter of security, for if residents in areas particularly near borders towns and cities are able to communicate and Customs, Border Patrol Officers, the Liberia National Police and other personnel can effectively communicate, it helps to protect the nation.

According to Tebogo Mogapi, Lonestar Cell MTN's CEO, the customer's experience is paramount to keeping the operations alive. According to him, no matter how difficult the journey may be in reaching to some areas, Lonestar Cell MTN must brave the challenges and install network towers in rural Liberia to connect residents throughout the country. "We must play our part to make true the vision of the government with all of the passion and firm commitment we continue to witness on the part of President Sirleaf" said Mr. Mogapi.

True to this commitment, Lonestar Cell MTN as of December 1 erected a 55m tower in Salaye, Lofa County, replacing the old 20m tower. The coverage in Salaye and surrounding villages and towns has been extended significantly. It is noteworthy that Lonestar Cell MTN is the only operator present in this area.

Additionally, a new coverage site has been created with the erection of a 55m tower in Zamie, Rivercess County. This new site is strategic to economic growth and development in Rivercess county and Liberia because it covers areas where mining activities are taking place. Again, Lonestar Cell MTN is proudly the only operator present in this part of Liberia.

"The expansion of Network coverage is a top priority of Lonestar Cell MTN's Management, for we see ourselves as relevant partners with the government of Liberia in the development of the telecom sector. We have made commitment to connect all potential areas of Liberia and also continue providing world class telecommunication services including the introduction of the Blackberry Solution, the first ever to be launched in Liberia" said Tebogo Mogapi.

Since the beginning of 2011, Lonestar Cell MTN has added new sites and improved in areas where there had previously been network difficulties. In September of 2011, Masam Bolahun, a town south of Foya, near Sosmoilahun Town and Ndambu in Lofa county came on air with an active Lonestar Cell MTN tower where residents in these areas no longer have to ascend hills in order to receive signal to make calls. But not only can subscribers make and receive calls, they can also use the Lonestar Cell MTN EDGE Plus to have access to Internet in towns and villages in and around Masam Bolahun in Lofa county, something that residents have praised Lonestar Cell MTN for what they termed: "bringing the modern world of technology" to their area.

Many other sites were improved in 2011 included: Coca Cola Factory near the Morris' farm to make up for coverage gap and capacity; Cesstos City in Rivercess County where a higher tower was installed for better coverage with areas that are distant and the Fish Market in Sinkor to fill coverage gap where a Microcell was installed.

In November, 2011, Tondine in Nimba County saw a new site installed and on air. This site replaced Zulluyee site and has wider coverage. Lonestar Cell MTN has a habit of listening to its many subscribers and hence has installed a new site with better and wider coverage in one of Liberia's populous counties. The installation of this site means additional capital investment for Lonestar Cell MTN, but it also means that those many subscribers travelling from Ganta to Sanniquellie now enjoy better coverage as well as all the surrounding villages and towns.

According to Lonestar Cell MTN's Chief Technical Officer, Wassim Ghanem, Salaye and Zamie are operational over satellite with the latest technology (Abis over IP over satellite) which provides wider voice and Edge/GPRS capacity so that subscribers can enjoy excellent voice and internet quality. Additionally, all Lonestar Cell MTN's new sites are equipped with outdoor radio units and Deep cyclic batteries which can run the site for a period varying between 12 to 18 hours per day without external power supply (generators), which, according to Mr. Ghanem is great for the environment.

Many subscribers, among them government officials and business people who hail from and are doing business in Lofa, Nimba and Rivercess counties have appreciated Lonestar Cell MTN for responding positively to the communication needs of the people. A Liberian business man who lives in Sanniquellie and trades between Liberia, Guinea and Cote d'Ivoire expressed excitement that he can now effectively access the internet using the Lonestar Cell MTN EDGE Plus devise. According to him, this will not only allow him to make and receive calls, but also will improve his business because of the access to the internet. He praised Lonestar Cell MTN for being a true leader in the telecommunications industry in Liberia and asked that the company continue its site expansion around the country.

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