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Latest Deals | 25th September 2021




A well-respected African telecoms brand that’s gained international recognition.

Mobile Telephone Networks (MTN) is a multinational mobile phone operator that provides a range of prepaid, postpaid, and business voice and data services. The company has its headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, where it is the second-biggest mobile operator in the market. In 1994, when the South African government awarded GSM licences through a tender process, MTN was one of the two companies that won and promptly established itself. The company became publicly-listed in 1995. MTN invested heavily in setting up its mobile phone infrastructure. From early on, the company’s leadership set its sights on expanding to markets outside of South Africa, and while the company was pushing for growth in the local market, an international division was in the works. By 1998 licences were acquired in Rwanda, Uganda and Swaziland. In 2001, MTN acquired an internet service provider, CiTEC, and was targeting the business sector with its enhanced data services. That same year also saw MTN going after its biggest market yet when it established operations in Nigeria. It is currently the number one mobile operator in the country with 60 million subscribers to date. By 2010, when MTN launched its R8.1-billion share scheme called Zakhele, which aimed to increase the company’s shareholding by black South Africans, the company was considered a global telecoms player and named as one of the 30 Hottest Brands by AdAge.

MTN has 31.2 million users in South Africa, with 26 million of them being prepaid subscribers. The company is present in 24 countries spread across Africa and the Middle East. However, the success hasn’t come without controversy. In June 2016, a fine of $5.2-billion by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was issued to MTN when the company failed to disconnect unregistered SIM cards. MTN struck a deal with the NCC to have the fine reduced to $1.1-billion payable over a three-year period. Today, MTN remains one of the biggest mobile operators in the world, serving over 230 million subscribers

MTN was the only African global sponsor of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.