Month: March 2021
MTN is proud to announce that National Treasury RT15 bid evaluation committee has appointed MTN SA as a service provider to government, through its new mobile communication services contract, known as RT15-2021. The RT15 2021 Transversal contract allows for all entities of state to utilise the contract for mobile communication services, which will further assist with cost containment.
The scale of the government’s requirements has allowed MTN to develop industry-leading systems and innovative pricing and products that will not only add value to the state but will also significantly improve on existing mobile telecommunications service delivery, while also allowing for a high degree of control of spend by the individual entities.
Godfrey Motsa, the Chief Executive Office of MTN South Africa, said he and his executive team are proud to accept the call to serve the country, through the provision of these vital services. “We are both humbled and honoured by the faith National Treasury has shown in MTN with this critical partnership over a five-year term. A huge team at MTN spent months analysing the state’s requirements and then developing the very best solutions to not only meet those expectations, but to exceed them,” Motsa said. “We were delighted with the very positive reaction from the RT15-2021 bid committee to our service offerings and we are so proud that a company that is South African to its very core, will be delivering to our entities of state.”
Independent tests have, in recent years, consistently shown MTN to unequivocally hold the Best Network in South Africa title and the reach and quality of the MTN network has been an important contributor to the award, but more can be achieved for the people of South Africa. The allocation of the temporary spectrum by the telecommunications regulator, in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, showed the power and agility that lies with the purposeful allocation of additional spectrum. With the temporary spectrum, MTN has been able to zero-rate over a thousand health and education websites, expand its reach into underserved communities and further boost its quality in high density areas.
“The allocation of permanent spectrum will see government services and officials, through the RT15 contract, being important beneficiaries of the spectrum’s immediate value through further enhancements to MTN’s superior network, expanded reach into currently underserved communities and further quality gains in all parts of the country – which is why we are anxious to support any moves to mediate a solution to the current spectrum delays,” Motsa said.
Wanda Matandela the Chief Enterprise Officer at MTN SA said the scale and scope of RT15 makes this both critical and fascinating.
“In addition to mobile devices, accessories and value-added services, there are vital operations that must be maintained, such as air operations, the needs of the special task force, sea, rail, satellite and other critical functions. We at MTN are deeply encouraged by the responsiveness of the bid committee to our solutions and we look forward to serving our state, as part of the panel of service providers to government, with cost-effective and quality solutions that will help facilitate its work in serving the people of South Africa,” he said. For details on the transversal contact and what it means to government departments, please visit the National Treasury website at: http://www.treasury.gov.za/divisions/ocpo/ostb/contracts/default.aspx
Africa’s connectivity relies on strategic and global partnerships continually coming together to make a difference. In 2017, MTN GlobalConnect started partnering across the African continent and around the globe with leading carriers, hyperscalers, and telecom service providers to further African connectivity.
MTN GlobalConnect is a digital wholesale and infrastructure services company and an operating company in the MTN Group. Leading the journey is CEO Frédéric Schepens, who is driven by the ambition to build up Africa. The company has been turning a profit from the first year and is continually evolving to build the much-needed infrastructure stitching African countries together and connecting them to the rest of the world. Our agenda remains true to the MTN belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world.
Digital connectivity fosters growth, and digital services are data hungry. The best way to secure these applications is to invest in the needed infrastructure on a national and regional level. We are on a mission to connect the unconnected utilising our portfolio of fixed connectivity and wholesale mobility services. The end-to-end fixed connectivity services range from subsea cables, cable landing stations, data centres to inter-country and cross-country fibre networks. To date the company has signed 4 cross-border fibre contracts and rolled out 2,050 km of fibre in Zambia. Our existing fibre network is over 100,000km of which 85,000 km is full proprietary. That is approximately 14 times the distance between Cape Town and Cairo. Another 10,000km is being built. Wholesale mobility services range from voice, interconnect, messaging, value-added services to roaming services.
Fast forward 30 years to 2050, and Sub-Saharan Africa will be home to more than 1 billion people with 50% under the age of 25 years according to the World Bank. Sub-Saharan is also the world’s largest free trade area. According to a GSMA prediction we will have 623m mobile subscribers in 2025 compared to 456m in 2018. We need to provide the infrastructure they’ll need in the future to live a modern connected life, NOW. It takes bold steps!
Wherever you are in the world, MTN GlobalConnect is well positioned as a partner of scale with a single-entry doorway into the most significant network infrastructure in Africa. The foundation of your partnership is one single contract accompanied by a Service Level Agreement.
Among the assets available to a potential partner is the global MTN.net IP/MPLS network. It leverages 47 multinational points of presence across 29 countries in the Middle East & Africa. In addition to our fibre footprint, you have access to over 3Tbps of backbone capacity, multinational Network-to-network interfaces and peering with major content providers. For mobility and value-added services, you can access any of the Y’elloConnect Hubs for Messaging, Voice, Signaling and Roaming.
Travel underwater and you have access to a portfolio of 15 submarine cables with the latest 2Africa in joint build due in 2023/4. 2Africa subsea cable is one of the largest subsea projects in the world, connecting 23 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. The 2Africa subsea cable is significant to Africa – a continent that has historically been behind the global average in internet penetration. We have direct Tier 1 level investments in the WACS and ACE cables on the west coast of Africa, and EIG and EASSy cables on the east. We have substantial indirect investments in cables such as AAE-1 SMW5 on the north east coast of Africa connecting to Europe, and TEAMS on the east coast among others. MTN owns and operates 4 subsea cable landing stations in Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and South Africa.
The pandemic has taught us the importance of human capital, highlighted the value, and accelerated the demand for digital connectivity. Embracing 2021, the wholesale and infrastructure eco-system continues to be agile, highly responsive while building a more resilient network. When it comes to Africa, growth favours the bold so let’s grow together. #GoodTogether #GrowTogether #GrowAfrica
The Global Sourcing and Supply Chain (GSSC) division of MTN Group has hosted its second Supplier Awards event to recognise suppliers and partners for their hard work and delivery of exceptional services across the MTN footprint.
This year’s virtual event, hosted by Group Executive and Chief Procurement office, Dirk Karl, was centred around three key pillars – Innovation, Collaboration and Excellence.
“As we reflect on 2020, and the challenges presented by the spread of COVID-19, I would particularly like to commend our suppliers and partners on their agility and resilience, that ensured uninterrupted service to the MTN Group. It is only through strong partnerships and the support of dependable suppliers that MTN can ensure that everyone has the benefits of a modern connected life,” says Dirk.
MTN Group COO – Jens Schulte-Bockum joined the session where he congratulated the supplier partners and shared MTN’s recently announced Ambition 2025 plan with them. Group Chief Technology and Information Officer Charles Molapisi and Executive Group Consumer Enzo Scarcella –also delivered MTN’s plan around Ambition 2025. They also called out to all the supplier partners for their continuous support and commitment to deliver on MTN’s belief i.e. everyone deserves the benefit of a modern connected life. Verizon’s Chief Sustainability Officer, James Gowen, also attended the session, speaking on sustainable supply chain.
16 winners across nine categories were announced:
2020 Rise & Shine Award – recognizes our Rising Star Supplier for 2020:
- Winner – Dell Technologies
2020 Digital Excellence Award: Most supportive of GSSC digital transformation:
- Winner – Oracle
2020 Most Collaborative Supplier Award: Most responsive and supportive through the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Technology Category Winner – Ericsson
- Commercial Category Winner – Mobicel
2020 Outstanding Quality & Delivery Performance: Best performance in delivery, support, performance, quality and risk:
- Technology Category Winner –FLYTXT
- Commercial Category Winner – ZTE
2020 Commercial Excellence Award: Best provider of competitive pricing and costing transparency:
- Technology Category Winner –Tecnotree
- Commercial Category Winner – Valid
2020 Best Account Management Performance Award: Best account management support, flexibility and ease of doing business, including, timely reporting:
- Technology Category Winner – Huawei
- Commercial Category Winner – IDEMIA
2020 Supplier Innovation Award: Most innovative and solutions driven supplier, who demonstrates and shares best practice:
- Technology Category Winner – Tarana represented by United Wireless
- Commercial Category Winner – Thales
2020 Performance Excellence Award : Most consistent in terms of delivery throughout the year:
- Technology Category Winner – Ericsson
- Commercial Category Winner – Omnicom Group
2020 Supplier of the Year: Best overall performer across several metrics, including quality, delivery & support, account management, performance and innovation:
- Technology Category Winner – Deloitte
- Commercial Category Winner – Valid
MTN congratulates all the winners of the GSSC supplier awards and looks forward to greater collaboration and partnership as we focus on our intent to provide leading digital solutions for Africa’s progress.
MTN Group today reported a very strong set of operational and financial results for 2020, displaying business resilience under COVID-19 pressures and a challenging macroeconomic environment. Africa’s leading mobile operator also announced its re-positioned strategy – Ambition 2025 – to accelerate growth and unlock the value of its infrastructure assets and platforms.
The Group added 29 million subscribers in the year, to reach a total of 280 million across 21 markets. It reported a 52% increase in adjusted headline earnings per share, a four-percentage point increase in return on equity to 17% and a more than doubling in operating cashflow to R28,3 billion.
“We continued to perform favourably against our medium-term targets,” said President and Chief Executive Officer Ralph Mupita. “In constant currency terms, service revenue grew 11,9% to R170 billion and EBITDA increased by 13,4%, maintaining our strong operating leverage. The Group’s EBITDA margin improved by 0,9pp to 42,7%, benefiting from the execution of our expense efficiency programme.”
The solid results were supported by pleasing growth in MTN’s larger operations as well as a broad-based improvement across all regions.
The Group continued to prioritise the health and safety of its people and mourned the loss of 10 MTN employees to COVID-19, after reporting a total of 1 404 infections in the period to the end of February 2021.
“We are pleased to have made a $25 million donation in support of the African Union’s programme to secure much-needed COVID-19 vaccines,” said Ralph. “This partnership deepens MTN’s role in the ongoing work to save lives in the markets in which we operate. Importantly, it aligns with our ambition to create shared value and ensure the continent’s future progress and prosperity.”
As well as managing the risks of COVID-19, the Group remains alive to the opportunities presented by the pandemic, particularly the accelerated need for digitalisation evidenced in the greater adoption and usage of MTN services. In 2020, MTN added 19 million data users and almost 12 million MoMo users, to reach totals of over 114 million and 46 million respectively. The Group’s networks remained well-invested, with capex of R28,6 billion in 2020 and headroom to accommodate growth of more than 110% in data traffic in the year.
In the near-term, MTN is focused on de-leveraging the holding company and it reduced net debt by R12 billion, to R43 billion. The leverage ratio for the year, however, remained flat at 2,2x as cash upstreaming from Nigeria remained challenged. MTN concluded R4,3 billion of realisations of its asset realisation programme (ARP) and remains focused on completing some of its larger transactions, which did not proceed in the year due to challenging market conditions.
In this regard, MTN suspended the final dividend for 2020 due its near-term focus on faster de-leveraging of its holding company as well as three conditions which negatively impacted this objective. These related to uncertainties around cash upstreaming from Nigeria, the timing of ARP proceeds and COVID-19 impacts.
“In light of these material uncertainties, the Board has also suspended the dividend policy and anticipates communicating a revised medium-term dividend policy when we announce our 2021 results in March 2022,” said Ralph.
During this transition, the Board anticipates paying a total ordinary dividend of at least 260 cents per share for the 2021 financial year. Ralph added, “on assessment of the progress of cash upstreaming from Nigeria, ARP delivery and COVID-19 impacts, the Board will consider returning further cash to shareholders in the form of special dividends or share repurchases after the release of 2021 results.”
MTN also announced a revised strategy. “Further to our previous announcement regarding our intention to focus on our pan-Africa strategy, we completed a comprehensive strategy review in Q4 2020 and are excited to introduce ‘Ambition 2025’,” he said. “As part of this strategic repositioning, we are looking to structurally separate our infrastructure assets and platforms, such as fintech, to reveal value and attract third-party capital and partnerships into these businesses, over the medium-term.”
“Going forward, we believe that Ambition 2025 will position the business to capture the exciting opportunities across our markets and our medium-term guidance has been enhanced to reflect this accelerating growth outlook. To support this, we plan to invest approximately R29,1 billion in our network, fintech and digital services platforms in 2021.”
MTN Group today announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji as Executive: Strategy and Transformation as part of plans to further bolster management capacity to accelerate the Group’s strategic ambitions.
Effective 15 March 2021, Chika joins Africa’s leading mobile operator from management consultancy McKinsey & Company in Nigeria, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.
“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” said MTN Group Chief Operating Officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.
A Nigerian-American national, Chika has a Masters of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT. In his new role he will be based in South Africa.
In December 2020, MTN Group announced the completion of a comprehensive strategy review with a focus on accelerating growth, deleveraging the holding company debt and unlocking value.
To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, we announced the appointment of a new Group Chief Financial Officer as well as changes to the Group’s regional structure and the Group Executive Committee.
The revised strategy will be presented in more detail after the release of 2020 full-year results on 10 March.