MTN Group’s South Africa subsidiary, claimed to be Africa’s largest mobile network operator, has signed a multi-year agreement with global internet of things (IoT) connectivity services provider Eseye that will see it standardise on a global embedded subscriber identity module (eSIM) and IoT platform offering.

MTN South Africa provides voice, data, fintech, digital, enterprise, wholesale and API services to 36.5 million customers. Looking to bolster and enhance existing IoT SIM management capabilities, the company says it was looking for a Connectivity Management Platform to complete its customer offering with the management of eSIMs, Global SIMS and have a multi-IMSI capability.

Following a tendering process, Eseye’s Integra IoT Platform for MNOs was selected to power the next-generation MTN IoT connectivity service, which will see millions of IoT devices onboarded and connected. Through Eseye, MTN will provide multi-dimensional offerings that go beyond connectivity management to deliver on a range of IoT value-added services. 

The agreement will see the Integra service deployed in South Africa, with the aim of expanding it to 18 operating companies across Africa. This is designed to allow the different operating companies to evolve and utilise the service to meet their own requirements and specific market needs. The process involves integration with MTN’s current infrastructure, utilising
Eseye’s engineering expertise and experience in deploying rapid IoT services to meet MTN’s global needs, and supporting customers with pan-African IoT deployments.

Moving forward, MTN said it will now have the capability to support customers with new IoT device connections, both across Africa and internationally. It also claimed it can deliver a future-proofed service that allows for technology evolution and compliance with new standards and regulations.

“Our mission is to be Africa’s leading digital platform, unlocking economic growth through financial and digital solutions for consumers and businesses of all sizes,” said Lawrence Juku, head of IoT solutions at MTN Business.

“We aim to create a marketplace that supports digital economies through affordable, inclusive, simple and comprehensive services,” he continued. “Our strategic partnership with Eseye will enable us to sell diverse IoT services such as connectivity, IoT bundles and value-added services to help our customers meet their IoT global needs. [Having] deep IoT connectivity platform technical expertise will serve MTN well in the future. Our new IoT Connectivity Management Platform … enables us to meet our aggressive IoT connectivity goals and deliver differentiated services across different IoT verticals.”

Eseye CEO Nick Earle added: “We are proud to be awarded this multi-year agreement with MTN, which is a significant contract for Eseye and demonstrates the calibre of not only our technology, but also our IoT expertise. This contract involves a complex technical process, and we have already invested a huge amount of work in the technical project setup phase, which will be ongoing for the foreseeable months.

“MTN chose Eseye because it had confidence in our ability to deliver, having done so for other global MNOs, and our technical know-how combined with our hardware, connectivity, software and end-to-end IoT services expertise,” he said. “MTN, as one of our longest-serving partners, has put its trust in Eseye to deliver a new global eSIM and IoT Platform that will help their customers achieve their extended IoT goals. Work is already well underway, and we are excited for what the future holds.”

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