Botswana Telecommunications Corporation

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Public company
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1980
Headquarters Gaborone
Key people
Anthony Masunga , Chief Operations Officer / acting MD
Eric Mallia , General Manager, Marketing
Products Telecommuncations services
Internet services
Revenue P1.51 billion (2016)
Number of employees
947 (November 2015)

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is a telecommunications and Internet service provider in Botswana. BTC is headquartered in Gaborone. It provides telecommunications services all over the country and the majority of its services are in the capital city, Gaborone and the second largest city, Francistown. Currently it has over 100 000 customer access lines in service.[1]

The company was formally as government entity but is now as public entity listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange as Botswana Telecommunications Limited (BTCL)


BTC was established in 1980 to provide, develop, operate and manage Botswana's national and international telecommunications services. BTC is a parastatal in which the Botswana government holds 100% equity.. BTC was the only telecommunications provider in Botswana until 1996 when an amendment of the BTC Act removed the monopoly of BTC and allowed indirect competition from two cellular companies, Mascom Wireless and Vista Communications (now Orange).[2]

BTC has a telecommunications infrastructure that is one of the most modern in Africa. Its network, composed of an all-digital microwave and fibre optic system with digital exchanges at the main centres, provides a high quality service. The current network comprises 7 300 kilometers of microwave radio and fibre optic links between 12 main processors, each serving a specific area of the country. The switching units have a capacity of about 117 000 lines. Current services provided include national and international telephony, managed and data networks, very small aperture terminal (VSAT), private wires, leased circuits, toll free services, Internet, paging, public telephones, voice messaging, telex, packet switching, telegraph and customer premises. International access is provided from Botswana to almost every country in the world.[1]

BTC has also supplied the backbone network to facilitate cellular communication throughout the country and works closely with the two mobile operators - Mascom Wireless and Orange.In 2008 BTC established a mobile arm beMOBILE. On 1 November 2012 BTC was converted to and registered as a public company, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL)

A dedicated group at BTCL head office is responsible for the core network and technology strategy, while the local access network is developed Services, an International Business Unit, a Public Telephone Unit and a Voice Messaging Unit look after specific product services. Separate supporting units, information technology and properties are already in place.

BTCL also provides virtual telephony services, paging and data communication for corporate networks.

Corporate governance[edit]

Current members of the board of directors of BTCL are:

  • Dephne Matlakala - Chairman of the Board
  • Paul Taylor - Managing Director (contract expired July 19, 2016)
  • Gerald Nthebolan - Member
  • Serty Leburu - Member
  • Alan Boshwaen - Member
  • Choice Pitso - Member
  • Professor Rejoice Tsheko - Member

BTCL Senior Corporate Officers:

  • Paul Taylor - Managing Director (contract expired July 19, 2016)
  • Anthony Masunga - Chief Operations Officer (acting Managing Director)
  • Joy-Marie Marebole- General Shared Services and Human Resources
  • Abel Bogatsu - General Manager Finance
  • Kaelo Radira - Company Secretary
  • Bambino Masoko - General Manager Sales
  • Eric Mallia - General Manager Marketing
  • Masego Mathambo - General Manager Customer Care
  • Christopher M. Diswai - General Manager Strategy
  • Thabo Nkala - General Manager Technology
  • Mokgethi Nyatseng - General Manager Wholesale
  • Same Kgosiemang- General Manager Internal Audit

Products and services[edit]

For many years, BTC has been Botswana's largest supplier of fixed-line and associated communications services, and it has been providing telephony and other products to urban and rural centres across the country. The following main products and services are currently offered by BTC:


  • Payphones, Prepaid cards, BTC prepaid


  • Internet (Botsgate), Frame Relay, ADSL, Internet Products, Data Services and Leased Lines, ISDN

Customer Premises Equipment

  • Telephone Instruments, PABX

Value Added Services (or VANS)

  • Abbreviated Dialling, Alarm Call, Caller ID, Call Barring, Call Diversion, Call Waiting, Conference Call, Time announcement, Toll Free, Voice Mail, Itemised Billing


  • Installation and Rental, Prepaid, Operator Assisted, Toll Free, International pre-paid and postpaid, Postpaid, Public Phones and Scratch'n Dial, Service Call, International Payphones, ISDB BRI


On June 2016 BTCL published its first annual financial statements as a public company for the financial year end 31 March 2016. The company reported a loss of P371 million which was due to an impairment write down of P522 million, and had revenue of P1.512 billion which was a marginal increase from previous year. Total assets were at P1.949 billion while cash and cash equivalents was at P390 million. The company also declared a dividend of 5 thebe per share[3]

Subsequent to these results the share price started its decline from its high of P1.30 to P0.85 per share on 15 September 2016.


BTC's Milestones[4]
Year Activity
1999 BTC Group records an all-time high profit of Pula 75.0 million. BTC Group enters into interconnect and backhaul network agreement with mobile operators. Customer connections increased to 144 195 lines.
2000 BTC Group loses market share. The new billing system creates doubts. BTC’s image slide. Mobile operators skyrocket with their connections.
2001 Despite resolution of billing system problems, net profit declines to Pula 2.2 million. Wireless technology introduced in the local loop. BTC Group realises that it has lost significant market share to mobile operators. Introduces pre-paid technology.
2002 IDI of Ireland is invited to steady BTC Group. Restructuring commences with 600 staff retrenched, staff numbers dropping to less than 1,000. Government engages BTC Group for its Rural Development Programme (Nteletsa Project). BTC Group records an all-time high loss of Pula 39 million.
2003 VSAT technology introduced. Measures to improve technology and quality introduced.
2004 Profitability returns. Total restructuring cost Pula 162.0 million. International connectivity established through SAT 3 through South Africa. BTC Group endorses Government of Botswana’s ICT plan – Maitlamo initiatives.
2005 BTC adopts Intelligent Network Platforms strategy and refocuses its strategy based on broadband data. Broad band is rolled out with ADSL in Gaborone. Profitability returns to 139.0 million.
2006 Telecommunication liberalisation announcement by the minister responsible for Science, Communication and Technology.
2007 BTC Group awarded a Public Telecommunications Operator licence.
2008 BTC Group launches its mobile service under the brand name “be Mobile”
2009 Aggressive rollout of the beMOBILE Network. Successful launch of converged product offering and expansion of broadband to entire Botswana
2016 BTCL lists on the Botswana Stock Exchange

Community relations[edit]


BTC Group through its mobile network, beMOBILE actively supports sport by sponsoring the Premier Football League to the amount of P5 million over a three-year period. The biggest sponsorship in the annals of Botswana football has seen the game become very competitive to rival some of the top leagues.[citation needed]

In motor sport, beMOBILE sponsored local racing driver, Atang Makgekgenene, in the Annual Toyota 1000 Desert race, the only Motswana in the sandmaster category.


The BTC Group donated P20 000 to Thapong Visual Arts Centre. In collaboration with the centre, the Group sponsored a competition to the tune of P20 000 inviting artists to design the cover for the 2010 Phone Book Directory. The Group also supports musicians by affording them an opportunity to share the platform and showcase their talent during promotions.

Rural Telecommunications Development

Botswana has a small population that is spread across a vast country. Where feasible BTC Group utilises its resources to provide services to remote villages that have a population of 250 or more. So far, the Group under the Nteletsa Project, has connected almost 200 villages around the country. Currently we have signed another contract for the provision of telecommunications to a further sixty two villages in the south-western part of Botswana.

These projects were a partnership between the Government of Botswana and BTC Group where the Government funds the capital cost, whilst maintaining the infrastructure on an ongoing basis. The cost of the projects is in excess of Pula 240 million.

Contribution to HIV/AIDS related activities

BTC Group is a founding member of the Botswana Parastatal Aids Forum and also has an active Aids awareness programme in the work place. The Group commemorated the World AIDS day through the concept of Wellness Expo to promote employee wellness, to know their HIV/AIDS status and to discourage stigmatisation in the workplace.


On 2 February 2010 Powertel Communications signed a Cross-Border Interconnection Agreement with Botswana Telecommunications Corporation. BTC agreed to provide Powertel with international bandwidth capacity for two years after the two organisations completed cross border fibre optic connections at Ramokgwebana in December 2009.[4][5]

BTC is currently providing 45Mbit/s to Zambia.

BTC has committed to contribute P504 million to secure reliable bandwidth connection from an undersea fibre optic through the West African Cable System (WACS). BTC and Telecom Namibia both contribute equally as second tiers while regional giants like Vodacom, MTN, Neotel and Zain will contribute US$100 million (approximately P672 million) each for the development of the undersea cable that will link London with Africa.

BTC is also committed US$210 million into the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy) to further increase Botswana's bandwidth capacity.

BTC to be privatized[edit]

In June 2010, the government of Botswana government planned to privatize BTC. The Sunday Standard reported that Presidential Affairs Minister, Lesego Motsumi told parliament that the cabinet has taken a decision regarding the privatization structure of BTC and the information will be communicated with all stakeholders soon. Lesego Motsumi stated that the aim of the privatization was to minimize risks, and get maximum benefits. She added that the government had to carry out extensive consultations before going ahead with the plans.[6]

BTCL Listing[edit]

BTCL listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange on 8 April 2016 at P1 per share and total valuation of P1.05 billion (1.05 billion shares). The listing was muchly awaited and was oversubscribed but individual citizen were given preference over company. The shares were allocated 51% to the government of Botswana, 5% to employees of BTCL and 44% to Batswana and Botswana companies. The shares were largely restricted for the benefit of Batswana and are traded among Batswana and companies benefiting for Batswana e.g. funds managers.[7]

The share price spiked on listing and continued its to rise to high of P1.30 per share then subsequently declined upon announcements of financial year results of a P371 million loss. The share is currently trading at P0.85 per share 15 September 2016.

It was announced that Paul Taylor who had lead BTCL to its transformation and subsequent listing will not have his contract renewed at end of his contract which ends in July 2016. Anthony Masunga was then appointed acting Managing Director.[8]


On 1 November 2012, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation ( BTC ) was converted from a statutory body into a public company limited by shares, in accordance with the Transition Act and Companies Act, and renamed Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited

External links[edit]