MTN, mobile telecommunications giant has upgraded its mobile switching centres to enable it process 500 million calls annually, Nigeria CommunicationsWeek has learnt.
Mobile switching centre in a Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) technology interface with mobile base stations that connects subscribers to the network.
Nigeria CommunicationsWeek investigations revealed that it is at the mobile switching centres that records of every subscriber on the network are located; these include billing, registration, activation and deactivation of subscribers.
It was gathered that for any GSM operator to effectively cover Nigeria, at least 10 mobile switching centres which are connected to one another are required. The centres are scalable which requires an upgrade to determine the capacity of call an operator could process on the network.
MTN said the upgrade was done through the implementation of a robust Internet Protocol based technology which has given the company capability to process over 500 million calls per annum. It noted that the upgrade has given the network enough capacity to process both voice and data services that is expected to rise during the festive holidays.
It would be recalled that subscribers of GSM services are faced with poor quality of service especially during Christmas and New Year holidays, where most short message services (SMS) are not delivered on time. This in 2007 resulted in Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposing sanctions on Zain and MTN as their networks were worst hit by the network capacity issue.