BT Group to expand Africa ops
- Published on 03 April 2012
The UK operator says it is going to hire 100 more staff for its sub-Saharan African office in Johannesburg, which will make up the bulk of the company`s total of 170 new employees for Turkey, the Middle East and Africa region. BT Group plans to eventually have 400 staff working in the region.
The move comes as BT, which provides telecommunications services to business clients such as Unilever and Anglo American, seeks to double its market value across these markets, which was worth a combined $8.5 billion in 2011.
“BT staff will be doubled in the next three years, maybe even in the next eighteen months,” said Olivier Campenon, BT global services vice president for EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
“We want to build its [BT`s] position as the strongest global operator here in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa,” said Campenon.
BT also plans to upgrade its network reach and infrastructure on the continent, which includes the building of new data centres, and its purchase of bandwidth on FibreCo`s under-construction network that will connect Johannesburg to an under-sea cable in Cape Town.
BT Group further plans to take its full service suite offering to Turkey, the Middle East and Africa within the next two years.
The British telco has been operating in Africa since 1985 and says it has 600 customers with almost 3000 connections throughout the continent.
Tim Parle, senior telecoms consultant at BMI-TechKowledge, says BT has always had a strong global focus but that its latest effort to increase its presence in Africa is something that the company did not talk about five years ago.
“They make wise, prudent investments; they`ve been watching this market for some time,” said Parle.
The company has been performing well in recent years. In the final quarter of 2011 it reported profit before tax was up 18% to $£995 million, while earnings (before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) rose by 3% to $2.37 billion in the quarter.