MTN SA has gone live with the commercial availability of LTE (Long Term Evolution) in the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban regions, promising to bring the consumer faster broadband speeds and a better Internet experience. As of 1 December 2012, South African consumers will be able to purchase LTE devices and access the revolutionary technology on the MTN network.
Says Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA: “Having piloted LTE for some time now, we are confident that we have made significant milestones in providing access to this technology and are happy to be able to offer our customers the LTE experience over our world-class MTN network. To date, there are a limited number of devices that offer support for multiple LTE bands including legacy 2G and 3G support.”
With this launch, MTN is offering the LTE Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9” on a MTN 2GB TopUp contract for R799.00 per month, over 12 months.
Adds Lambotharan: “As we know, mobile users like to browse the Internet, share photos, download music and watch video clips and have therefore created a need for enhanced and uninterrupted experience for the Internet on the network, especially with video. This has resulted in the global move towards LTE. LTE is much faster than HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and offers more capacity. We are proud to announce the commercial availability of LTE – which means video streaming with no interruptions, better conferencing and downloads, and overall faster Internet browsing for our consumers.” (more…)
From 1 November, MTN SA is lowering the costs of its two most popular internet data bundles, which is welcome news in a heavily contested time in mobile broadband.
Says Serame Taukobong, MTN South Africa Chief Marketing Officer; “We know that our customers want value for money and in response to this we have reduced our Internet bundle pricing to offer real value for the Internet experience.”
The need to have continued access to the Internet has resulted in a higher demand from customers for data to be easily accessible at affordable rates. The new MTN Internet Bundles promotion offers customers more control, convenience and choice of data bundles to suit their needs. According to MTN, customers will get more value for money as well as control and manage their data usage and spend through the balance enquiries service by dialing *141*1#.
Through this promotion, customers can get: (more…)
Mobile broadband is the biggest single revenue opportunity in Africa in the immediate and longer term, according to the results of a recent Industry Outlook survey commissioned by Informa Telecoms & Media. This resonates with Informa’s forecasts that suggest that annual mobile data revenues in Africa will reach US$18.5 billion by 2016 accounting for 22% of the region’s total mobile service revenues as compared with 12% in 2011.
Informa Telecoms & Media commissioned the survey for AfricaCom 2012 and will publish the results in its “Africa Telecoms Outlook 2013: Seizing new revenue opportunities” report at the event in Cape Town between 13 – 15 November.
Mobile data growth will power a number of revenue opportunities. The business case for 4G technology will emerge, according to 70% of the survey’s respondents, as the growth of mobile data services continues to accelerate. Giving mobility to broadband services will empower enterprises and especially SMEs to benefit from more mobile working thereby generating greater business agility.
Yet there remains a large constraint on the ideal of connecting Africa. Even the cheapest mobile phone is still not affordable for many there. There is a powerful message from Informa’s survey: seven out of 10 respondents agreed that operators must use their buying power and distribution networks to make more devices available and device manufacturers need to make more affordable devices.
A central message from the survey is the need for mobile network operators (MNOs) to take notice of the changing demands and characteristics of its customers. Nick Jotischky, principal analyst for emerging market analysis at Informa Telecoms & Media comments, “There is more depth to a mobile operator’s customer base in Africa than two or three years ago and, for this reason, MNOs need to gain a greater insight into their customers’ behavior and offer them services that match their individual needs and preferences. Using this insight to design new business models that combine an MNO’s traditional capabilities (mobility, location) with Internet-style services (search, mapping) will enable a more compelling and personalized set of services to a wider variety of customer segments”.
Jotischky will chair a session at AfricaCom on November 13 discussing Africa’s evolving telecoms market with a number of Informa analysts and copies of the report will be made available there.
Lilian van Zyl from Moneysmart made this great infographic showing the current cost differences in SA when it comes to mobile broadband. South Africa’s current explosion of mobile phone use have led to massive increases in the amount of data we use. In fact, we are pretty sure that for some some users, the data bundle attached to a contract is of greater concern than the talk time.
Moneysmart‘s infographic focusses on prepaid data rates, and show some very clear differences in price. The current smaller cellular operators are obviously heading for price war in the data sector, which we feel is a lot more relevant than the recent international call decreases. But enough with the chat, see the infographic below:
MTN SA has expanded its network capacity and capability by rolling out an intense infrastructure development drive focused on leapfrogging customer experience through network expansion. The telecommunications operator today revealed that it has increased 2nd Generation (2G) network coverage to 98.6% of the country’s population while the company’s EDGE and 3rdGeneration sites cover 92% and close to 65% of South Africa respectively.
“With the increase of mobile and data usage, and an aggressive approach to providing access to broadband to more areas so as to narrow the digital divide, it was important that we focus on expanding our network and coverage to ensure capacity to carry traffic seamlessly and therefore enhancing our customers’ experience,” explains Kanagaratnam Lambotharan, Chief Technology Officer at MTN SA. “This is line with positioning ourselves as a future-proof and forward thinking operator with adequate capacity to address both business and consumer needs and enhancing experience on the network.” (more…)
Following the recent announcement made by the Independent Communications Authority of SA (ICASA), Telkom agreed to decrease IP interconnect rates by 30%. Large scale Internet Service Providers MTN and MWEB were quick to react.
Says Edwin Thompson, general manager of Technology and Infrastructure at MTN Business; “As IP Connect is one of the most expensive parts to providing an ADSL service currently, a price reduction here is long overdue. Although we are not sure what all the providers will do with the price cut, a clear benefit for the end user will likely be felt, as this will allow for various Internet providers to either improve the current broadband services offered or, should they choose, pass on the reduction in prices.”
Considering the high cost associated with the fixed-line broadband network in South Africa, many Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are currently offering broadband services that are unfortunately restricted. MTN Business believes that through this cut, the market will likely see many providers use this cut as a mechanism to improve broadband solutions offered and therefore the consumer will most likely receive an improved experience from their broadband solutions, perhaps even cheaper rates.
“We welcome this positive percentage cut as it is certainly one that is needed in the market, and will go a long way in achieving more capacity, more accessibility and more cost effectiveness – essentially improving overall broadband solution offerings for the local consumer,” concludes Thompson.
MTN Group (MTN) has alerted shareholders to the possibility of a claim being filed by the Turkish mobile phone operator, Turkcell Iletisim AS (Turkcell), in the US federal courts.
While the claim has not been served to MTN, MTN understands that a claim has now been filed by Turkcell in the US courts against MTN and its wholly owned subsidiary, MTN International (Mauritius), in which Turkcell claims no less than $4.2 billion, plus interest and punitive, consequential and other damages, in connection with the award of the second GSM licence in Iran to Irancell.
MTN continues to believe there is no legal merit to Turkcell’s claim and no basis for such a claim to be brought before a US court. MTN will accordingly oppose the claim. MTN further notes the South African government’s denial of the allegations that MTN exercised influence over it.
In advance of Turkcell filing its claim, MTN announced the formation of an independent committee, under the chairmanship of the internationally renowned jurist, Lord Hoffmann, to investigate Turkcell’s factual allegations. The Hoffmann committee has already begun its investigations and will report its findings to the MTN board, together with any recommendations as to actions to be taken as a result of its findings, including as to their publication.
The Hoffmann committee has invited Turkcell to participate in its investigation, but Turkcell has, to date, not done so. The invitation remains open to Turkcell to participate in the Hoffmann committee’s investigation.
As from 1 February 2012, users of Uncapped Lite packages will be able to download more, moving from the current (very slow) limit of 128kbps to a slightly faster 256kbps after the 3GB limit is reached. Uncapped Pro package users will also will also get a slight increase, with a maximum speed limit lift from 128kbps to 384kbps after the 10GB limit is reached. MTN Uncapped Lite is currently R289 pm for 24 months, and Uncapped Pro is R899 per month for 24 months.
The current promotion, began on 1 October 2011, and will run until 31 January 2012. It was a response to customer demands for faster and reliable Internet access at an affordable fixed monthly cost. And with a truly uncapped, no restriction limit.
“It was impressive to see the consumption rate – which certainly speaks to the value customers are getting from this R289 p/m promotional package,” said Serame Taukobong, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN South Africa. “The term ‘uncapped’ data has been bandied around in the industry – but this is truly the most competitive unlimited promotion on offer today.”
This promotion’s success has been the impetus for MTN’s decision to revise the Fair Use policy, permanently increasing its maximum speed limits after the limits have been reached.