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MTN GlobalConnect in the Spotlight
29 March 2021
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
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