Month: November 2018
MTN Group is the first African telecommunications company to join the IoT World Alliance, the leading enabler of connected IoT solutions Johannesburg – Telecommunications operator, MTN Group is proud to announce that it is the first African telecommunications company to join the IoT World Alliance. IoT World Alliance is a collaboration of established mobile network operators which aims to adopt and run a globally connected business through well-executed and smart business decisions.
Multinational corporations planning to roll out connected devices worldwide face a multitude of hurdles. As the largest mobile operator cooperative in the world, the IoT World Alliance aims to eliminate the complexity associated with worldwide deployments of connected devices.
The Alliance provides a global solution aimed at simplifying and promoting the adoption of IoT communications worldwide. The unique solution leverages the operators’ combined global presence to the benefit of customers.
MTN Group Executive for Enterprise Business, Oliver Fortuin said “We are very proud to be a member of the Alliance, not only do we join a community of like-minded telecommunications companies committed to making global connectivity cheaper and simpler, but as MTN we believe this partnership supports our efforts to deliver on our core belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.”
Commenting on the partnership, IoT World Alliance Chairman Mark van den Berg said, “We are pleased to have MTN on board, and look forward to leveraging the scale and reach that MTN has in Africa and parts of the Middle East. I think it is an exciting and long overdue partnership not only for MTN Group but also for IoT World Alliance as we work towards enabling our customers’ IoT device connectivity. He added that, “we look forward to a long-lasting partnership and most importantly working together to offer customers the solutions they need when they need them”.
About the IoT World Alliance
The IoT World Alliance is a global collaboration of telecommunications providers dedicated to providing multinational customers with seamless machine-to-machine device connectivity around the world through its Single Global SIM solution. The IoT World Alliance enables businesses to deploy an international IOT solution through a single point of contact, manage a vast number of connected devices through a unified IOT platform, and leverage the reach of the world’s largest IoT partnership. Current members include KPN, NTT DOCOMO, Rogers, SingTel, Telefonica, Telenor Connexion, Telstra, Veon, and DNA.
For more information please visit: www.iotworldalliance.org
Johannesburg – Two of Africa’s largest mobile operators and mobile money providers, Orange Group and MTN Group, today announced a joint venture, Mowali (mobile wallet interoperability), to enable interoperable payments across the continent. Mowali makes it possible to send money between mobile money accounts issued by any mobile money provider, in real time and at low cost.
Mowali will immediately benefit from the reach of MTN Mobile Money and Orange Money, bringing together over 100 million mobile money accounts and mobile money operations in 22 of sub-Saharan Africa’s 46 markets. Mowali is ready to enable interoperability between digital financial service providers beyond MTN and Orange operations and markets, to support the existing 338 million mobile money accounts in Africa.
Mowali is a digital payment infrastructure that connects financial service providers and customers in one inclusive network. It functions as an industry utility, open to any mobile money provider in Africa, including banks, money transfer operators and other financial service providers.
The objective of Mowali is to increase the usage of mobile money by consumers and merchants. Mowali enables money to circulate freely between mobile money accounts from any operators in all countries. From the customer’s point of view, this means “I can pay or receive money anywhere from my mobile account regardless of my operator”. The system will unlock further innovation in the digital financial space within the continent.
For Stéphane Richard, Chairman & CEO of Orange, “by providing full interoperability between platforms, Mowali will provide an important step forward that will allow mobile money to become a universal means of payment in Africa. Increasing financial inclusion through the use of digital technology is an essential element in furthering the economic development of Africa, particularly for more isolated communities. This solution embodies Orange’s ambition to be a leading player in the digital transformation of the continent. By joining forces with another of Africa’s market leaders, MTN, we aim to accelerate the pace of this transformation in a way that will change the lives of our customers by providing them with simpler, safer and more advantageous services.”
“One of MTN’s goals is to accelerate the penetration of mobile financial services in Africa, Mowali is one such vehicle that will help us achieve that objective. Furthermore, co-operation and partnerships that help us accelerate the pace of development and overcome some of the scale, scope and complexity of challenges that society faces are key. This partnership with Orange is therefore an important step in helping us play a meaningful role in supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals related to eliminating extreme poverty and enhancing socio-economic development in the markets we operate in and beyond. Thus giving our customers access to a bright, digital future.” said Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN.
The GSMA supports the Mowali initiative as interoperability at this scale is a key accelerator for both financial inclusion and Mobile Money usability across Africa. “Today, there are over 690 million mobile money accounts around the world. Mobile money services have become an essential, life-changing tool across Africa, providing access to safe and secure financial services but also to energy, health, education and employment opportunities. The creation of Mowali will help to further transform mobile financial services throughout the African region. It demonstrates the mobile industry’s continued leadership and commitment to driving financial inclusion and economic empowerment through industry collaboration. The GSMA is proud to support its development,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.
“Interoperability of digital payments has been the toughest hurdle for the financial services industry to overcome, in support of financial inclusion. With Mowali, Orange and MTN deliver a solution that will enable them, and other companies, to scale digital financial services across Africa, faster, to everyone—including the poor,” said Kosta Peric, deputy director of Financial Services for the Poor, at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation “This is a signal that a new wave of innovation, which can help alleviate poverty and drive economic opportunity, is coming. We’re pleased to see an implementation of Mojaloop —an open source payment platform available to operators across the sector—help achieve that.”
Mojaloop is open-source software for financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion
New handset makes internet connectivity and advanced digital services affordable for everyone
13 November 2018 – Today, at the annual AfricaCom conference in Cape Town, the CEO of MTN Group, CEO of KaiOS Technologies Inc., Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd., and Executive Vice President of UNISOC announced a partnership to launch the world’s first 3G smart feature phone in Africa, powered by KaiOS.
The new product will allow customers to upgrade from a feature phone with only voice and text capabilities, to a fully connected handset with fast, 3G internet. Because of the competitive pricing of the device, access to advanced digital services is finally a reality for everyone.
Of the partnership, Rob Shuter, Group President and CEO of MTN, said, “As MTN we are proud to be part of this partnership that supports our ambitions to deepen digital inclusion in our markets. This initiative contributes to the achievement of one of our key goals to provide affordable data enabled handsets to our customers, and by so doing, remove some of the barriers to mobile internet adoption in Africa.”
The new smart feature phone runs on KaiOS — the world’s leading operating system for smart feature phones — and includes the following features and services:
Fast internet access through Wi-Fi and 3G
Bluetooth connectivity and GPS for navigation
The Google Assistant and other smart services
The KaiStore, home to the world’s most popular apps and localized content
2 cameras, as well as music and video streaming services
Long battery life 2000mah
Dual SIM support
“With 834 million people still unconnected to the internet in Africa, today’s launch with MTN, UNISOC and China Mobile stands to have a significant impact on communities across the continent,” said Sebastien Codeville, CEO of KaiOS Technologies. “MTN has one of the largest customer bases in the region, and coupled with KaiOS, we’re taking an important step toward closing the digital divide on the continent.”
KaiOS already powers close to 50 million smart feature phones globally, including in the USA, Canada, India, China, and several countries in Europe. It has overtaken iOS as the second most popular mobile operating system in India (based on data usage) and is at the forefront of connecting the next billion users by enabling devices that provide affordable mobile internet access.
The 3G smart feature phone will initially be available from MTN in Nigeria and South Africa, followed very shortly by the other MTN operations in Africa as well as the Middle East. The new product will retail between $20-$25, which is relatively affordable compared to the price of other devices across the African continent.
Li Huidi, Executive Vice President of China Mobile Communications Group Co., Ltd, said, “As the largest Telecom Operator in China, we have made fruitful attempts at rapidly promoting business development through device customization. We hope to share our experiences in this regard with international operator partners, and help them expand market presence through device customization, thus delivering the dividend of reliable mobile networks to more users.”
“As the largest operator in Africa, MTN Group has achieved excellent progress. China Mobile is very honoured to be MTN’s strategic and cooperative partner, and is willing to provide customized integrated device solutions to MTN. Jointly, we can provide intelligent connectivity for the multi-billion market in Africa, and help to promote the digitalization of the continent.”
Through the efforts of all parties, this product will help convert African 2G users to 3G, allowing African people to enjoy high-speed mobile networks. The new smart feature phone is powered by the UNISOC SC7731EF, the first 3G smart chipset with up to 256MB RAM. The device has a 2.4’ screen, 256MB/512MB RAM/ROM, a 2000MAH battery, and supports dual SIM. It will be available starting from the first quarter of 2019.
“UNISOC has been in the African market for over 10 years and every year more than 100 million mobile phones powered by UNISOC chips are sold in Africa.” said Adam Zeng, Executive Vice President of Unigroup and CEO of UNISOC., “UNISOC is glad to partner with MTN, China Mobile and KaiOS, and together we will continue to invest more to fill in the gaps in the mobile communications and IoT fields in African markets. With customized solutions and excellent services, we will create a rich and diversified mobile ecosystem for Africa that will enable more than 1 billion African consumers to connect intelligently.”