Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

MTN launches pan-African IoT platform and global M2M sim card

Steve Rogerson
May 20, 2015
South Africa based mobile telecoms company MTN Group has launched a pan-African IoT platform providing African enterprises with greater control and advanced management features for their connected devices and sim cards.
The launch also sees the introduction of a global M2M sim card, which gives customers the same rate for M2M activity across MTN’s footprint in Africa.
The IoT platform is live in South Africa, with other MTN operating countries set to follow over the next 12 months. The platform is said to remove significant cost and accessibility barriers, enabling development on a broader scale, leading to the establishment of a vast ecosystem of scalable services addressing real-world needs.
The platform and its associated dedicated network enables MTN to connect an otherwise fragmented population of devices and systems. The open platform enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions, responding intelligently to their environments without human intervention.
“To ensure a seamless customer experience for our customers, wherever MTN has presence, the IoT platform has a dedicated network, separate from the consumer network, for operational and business systems support,” said Mteto Nyati, MTN group chief enterprise officer. “As a result, the platform is dedicated to managing all MTN’s machine-to-machine functions.”
As part of the IoT platform launch, application developers from across South Africa are participating in the inaugural MTN Business Mind-2-Machine Challenge. The initiative aims to identify and enable talented African developers to create scalable and relevant business solutions to real-world problems. The challenge is also the first of its kind in South Africa, and provides developers, including students, graduates and small enterprises, with an opportunity to participate in MTN’s pan-African IoT ecosystem and community.
“In South Africa, the wholesale M2M market – one aspect of IoT – is already worth an estimated R350m and expected to grow to R1.2bn by 2017,” said Nyati. “This means there are significant business opportunities for aspiring developers in South Africa and the rest of the continent.”
Winners of the Mind-2-Machine Challenge will be able to monetise their product with MTN Business and take it to market rapidly.
“We are particularly excited about this programme as it gives developers the foundation they need to empower themselves in this new era of connectedness,” said Nyati. “With today’s launch of our IoT platform, MTN Business is well placed to further inspire innovative thinking and enable growth on the continent.”
Launched in 1994, the MTN Group connects subscribers in 22 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.