Strategy Works: MTN Legal Action Against Icasa Has Major Ramifications

Published by on Feb 15th, 2014, No Comments

MTN-LogoMTN’s decision to take legal action against Icasa, and by extension the government, over the recently announced mobile termination rates (MTR) is a game changing step that could have ramifications for years to come, according to Steven Ambrose, Strategy Works CEO.

Vodacom and MTN both publicly voiced their displeasure at the new termination rates announced by ICASA on 29 January. The main bone of contention was the significant and unprecedented asymmetry** awarded to smaller operators.

Icasa initially proposed an asymmetry rate of 40 cents in 2013 and then announced a final rate of 44 cents.

“The result of this would be a net cash flow effect of R1 billion in the initial year of the new termination regime from the larger networks to the smaller ones. This is amount that was too significant for the larger networks to ignore,” he says. (more…)

iPhone 5S and 5C SA Pricing Revealed

Published by on Nov 15th, 2013, 8 Comments


Well, the day has finally arrived for Apple fans. The new iPhone 5S is now available in SA – and Vodacom and MTN have also revealed their pricing for the new phones.

We are quite happy to see that many of the vendors have stepped with earlier hours on launch day, and needless to say lines have formed in front of the relevant stores. For example, here is Vodaworld in Midrand this morning:


First up is MTN, who seems to have pretty aggressive pricing, with decent data bundles compared to previous years: (more…)

Industry sources confirm iBurst is for sale

Published by on Aug 6th, 2013, No Comments

iBurstIf you have a spare couple of million lying around, there might be a wonderful business opportunity for you.

Rumours have been doing the rounds that Wireless Business Solutions (WBS), the parent company of iBurst, is for sale.

According to, industry sources close to the development have confirmed that the internet company is, indeed up for grabs and it appears that some big players are interested in the company.

Vodacom, MTN and Dimension Data are just some of the names being thrown around as potential buyers.

One industry source has said that Dimension Data has already made an offer to WBS of R250 million. However, it is believed that this offer was rejected, and that the WBS share holders are looking at a much steeper price – somewhere in the region of R500 million.

WBS Holdings (Pty) Ltd. was established in 1999 and owns 100% iBurst (Pty) Ltd. and Wireless Business Solutions (Pty) Ltd.

According to iBurst’s website, that has been in operation since May 2005, it  is an exclusive Service Provider Company to Wireless Business Solutions.


MTN SA Launches LTE in Major Cities (except Cape Town…)

Published by on Nov 30th, 2012, No Comments

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…)

MTN lowers key Internet Bundle Costs

Published by on Nov 12th, 2012, No Comments

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 a Massive Revenue Opportunity in SA – Study

Published by on Nov 9th, 2012, 1 Comment

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.

Infographic: The Cost of Mobile Broadband in SA

Published by on Nov 7th, 2012, 2 Comments

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 commits to LTE rollout in 3 SA cities

Published by on Oct 1st, 2012, 4 Comments

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…)