Founded in 1987, Guinea Ecuatorial de Telecomunicaciones S.A. (GETESA) is the public telecommunications company of Equatorial Guinea and is the largest telecommunications operator in the country.
Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea interviewed GETESA Director General, Carlos Esono Miko, about the communication technology the company provides to Equatorial Guinea through its national network coverage.
What have been GETESA’s key activities in the past 12 months?
GETESA is in an ever-evolving company in a high-tech and fast-paced business, so it is within our DNA to stay on top of new developments and find the latest trends in the industry. In the last year, GETESA has engaged in a modernization plan in which it is swapping out all of the old sites for new 3G sites to cover all habitat areas of the country with at least 3G technology and bring high-speed internet to all Equatorial Guineans. This is probably the development that will be appreciated the most by both current and future customers. We are also investing in new network capabilities, such as a new billing server that will allow GETESA to have more competitive offers. Over the years, our accomplishments have been tied to the milestone achievements of communication technology in this country. GETESA first brought landline telephones, later brought mobility, and since the start of the internet, has been able to provide access to it. Currently, GETESA offers fiber optic, asymmetric digital subscriber line technology and 3G at higher speeds than other countries that are offering 4G. We are also engaged in a project to deliver fiber-to-the-home in some areas of the main cities and are expecting to be in the market by the end of the year.
What technology investments is GETESA making in 2019 and how might these impact the energy sector?
At GETESA, we are ambitious and we are building our position to become a leader and to help the country to take that leap. As mentioned, GETESA has a modernization plan that started in 2018 and will continue in 2019 and part of 2020. The impact of the plan is that we will be able to offer our customers, both within the energy and non-energy sectors, more reliability and a faster and more robust network. This will bring faster communications, more efficient communications and higher speeds. The end goal is that GETESA will be the top choice for communication that will allow companies to focus on their business knowing that they have access to the internet, to their cloud storage and intranet. Having faster, more reliable internet will allow people to work from places they were not able to before, checking their emails, video conferencing, and so on.
How does growth in the energy sector impact the growth of the telecommunications sector?
The energy sector is a strategic sector in this country. We all know that when the energy sector is successful, the country does better. If there is a resurgence in the energy sector, that means that more companies will aim to have operations in Equatorial Guinea. Current energy companies will expand, which means that more jobs will be created in the country, directly and indirectly. The resurgence of the energy sector is a win-win for everyone.
Where does GETESA see its operations going in the next 3 to 5 years?
GETESA is determined to bring the best telecommunication networks to the country. Currently, we are the number one telecommunications company in Equatorial Guinea and connect more people than all other telecommunications company in the country combined. In the coming years, we want to stay on top of technology. Our company motto is ‘Siempre Contigo’ or ‘always with you’, and that is what we want to do. We want to keep fulfilling our customer needs and if that means that we need to engage in new business lines, then we will and there are many ways to do it. But for now, our focus is to connect people.
What is GETESA’s message to potential investors interested in Equatorial Guinea?
The term investment connotes, by definition, a long-term journey, and investors that come for the long run are always welcomed, as the country has a lot to offer. They should understand that it is a great moment to be in the region and in Equatorial Guinea in particular. We know we have been through some rough years, but thanks to our leaders, the economy seems to be looking better for the future, which means that more and more opportunities will arise.