Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) has announced its proactive approach to address the escalating issue of copper theft, which has been causing significant disruptions to its service quality over the past two years. BTC revealed that it is directing investments towards accelerating the transition from copper to high-speed mobile, radio, and fiber networks.
The company recently completed its fiber to the home project in major cities such as Gaborone, Francistown, Jwaneng, and Orapa. Customers are being migrated from copper to fiber networks, enhancing their connectivity experience. Moreover, BTC aims to provide comprehensive coverage, with high-speed radio networks currently reaching 100% of Gaborone, Tlokweng, and select villages within the greater Gaborone area. By 2024, they expect to cover 80% of their customer base, expanding to 100% coverage by 2025.
While BTC reported revenue of $103,789,210 (P1.4bn) for the year ended March, profitability faced pressure due to challenging operating and economic conditions. Copper cable theft, in particular, resulted in substantial replacement costs and once-off restructuring expenses. To counter this, BTC is intensifying the rollout of alternative technologies to replace the vulnerable copper network.
Despite these challenges, BTC remains committed to its mission of providing high-speed connectivity and enabling digital transformation capabilities for its customers. The company continues to drive mobile data utilization through the deployment of 4G/4.5G mobile networks while maintaining a focus on data services and mobile financial services revenue growth.
BTC’s efforts to expedite fiber network deployment and embrace alternative technologies will not only enhance service reliability but also contribute to the advancement of Botswana’s digital transformation agenda.