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Data traffic made headlines in the telecoms industry in light of the exceptional measures businesses and individuals had to abide by due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, data traffic increases were registered all over the world and telcos had to be up to the challenge of catering to data-related needs.

At the 14th Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit which was held on November 18th at the Meydan Hotel, Dubai, MTN GlobalConnect CEO Frederic Schepens was one of the keynote speakers and took part in the panel entitled “Wholesale and capacity: Managing the explosion of data”.

During his keynote, Frederic Schepens gave an overview of MTN and MTN GlobalConnect’s role during the pandemic in Africa and the Middle East. In the panel, he explained how MTN GlobalConnect handled data traffic increases.

In order to know more details about his keynote and panel, Telecom Review managed to interview MTN GlobalConnect CEO Frederic Schepens onsite.

On the impact of data traffic increase on MTN and how the operator leveraged it, he said, “It’s been quite good for MTN as a whole and to MTN GlobalConnect who carries all the traffic of all operations to 273 million subscribers business including parties in Africa. Our network is so resilient that we were capable of catching up with the data traffic increase that reached 30%. We’re also rolling out aggressively incremental fiber in Africa mainly which will cater to the future growth of data traffic.”

During his keynote, he highlighted MTN’s social responsibility initiatives under the umbrella of Y’ello Hope initiative, which aims to help societies overcome challenges while also catering to their most pressing needs through technology.

“We believe that everybody deserves a digital connected life,” he said. “We are trying to help everyone in need like schools, governments, customers. We launched campaigns to educate people on wearing face masks and we also gave free data and SMS services. For example, we processed through Ayoba more than 6 thousand terabyte of free data over the pandemic. It’s really quite heartwarming that we’re here as one team but also very close to our customers.”

To wrap up our discussion, Frederic congratulated Telecom Review for yet another successful Summit and lauded the new hybrid format that allowed the participation of physical and virtual panelists and speakers.

“Telecom Review has put in a place a very unique setup this year. It’s quite good to allow the people who cannot travel to Dubai to participate virtually while also having again distanced and safe contact with the industry’s leaders.”

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