MTN Ghana CEO, Selorm Adadevoh has said that MTN is pursuing a new strategy dubbed “Ambition 2025” aimed at turning the network into a platform player popularizing digital services.
Speaking at MTN Ghana’s 25th Anniversary launch, the CEO said the focus of the Ambition 2025 strategy would be mainly on Fintech solutions, MTN’s digital/Ayoba platform, Enterprise, Network as a service and an API marketplace.
The strategy, he said, is to make MTN a platform player that allow businesses and individual to plug in a create solutions outside of MTN.
“In this strategy, we see exciting opportunities for mobile commerce where fintech intersects with our ayoba business. We are hoping to aggregate APIs to accelerate the digital ecosystem expansion,” he stated.
Selorm Adadevoh said under the Ambition 2025 strategy, MTN customers should, for instance, never need to interact with an agent to manage their MTN experience and all SMEs should be able to become digital without IT skills inhouse by leveraging MTN’s platforms and by so doing can pay taxes digitally through mobile money.
“We should be able to use QR codes for trotro or taxi payments; we must have the ability to pay tolls by scanning car number plates,” he added.
The MTN CEO said the strategy is also aimed at ensure that criminals could be tracked easily through digital safety cameras on street corners and with the use of artificial intelligence (AI), the camera image could be used to identity the ID card details of the person.
He said under Ambition 2025, “we should also be able to stamp out mobile money fraud using a similar artificial intelligence identity tracking algorithm.
Ambition 2025 is an MTN Group strategy also aimed at creating a WeChat platform for Africa, using the MTN Ayoba tool.
In line with the pursuit of the strategy, MTN Ghana is pursing a goal to become a complete digital operator by the close of 2023, two years ahead of becoming a complete platform player.
Selorm Adadevoh had earlier said that the strategy presents a great opportunity for Ghana startups and app developers to come up with ideas that can make digital services easily accessible to the general populace and just plug in a play on the MTN network.
In line with the push to grow local tech industry, he said MTN has set aside US$25million to support the tech ecosystem in Ghana, adding that MTN has already committed to building an ICT hub in Ghana.
“We are also committing as part of our 25th anniversary a 25 million US dollar fund over 3 years, to work with Government through the Ministry of Communications and Digitalization to support the development of Ghana’s digital ecosystem. One of the legacy projects we have already committed to is the building of an ICT hub in Ghana,” he said.
According to him, over the last 25 years, MTN has invested a whopping US$6 billion in Ghana, which is indicative of its commitment to the Ghanaian economy, because in some case, it kept investing even when it was not making profits.
He said this year alone MTN is investing US$150million in network development and expansion across the country to connect the unserved and under-served areas, and hence, help government national broadband and national roaming agenda succeed.
“Despite our success over the 25-year period, MTN is not resting on its laurels and our commitment to contributing to Ghana’s digital development could not be higher. This year alone, MTN is investing approx. US$150 million in the network and IT systems to continue to connect the 15% of Ghanaians in our remotest communities without connectivity and increase capacity and experience for those who already have service,” he stated.
MTN was in June last year declared a significant market power (SMP) in Ghana, following which the regulator implemented some regulatory interventions aimed at creating a leveling playing field for the benefit of the other telcos.
But MTN has proven to understand the Ghanaian market so much that it keeps churning out very competitive offerings which keeps driving growth in both subscriber base and market share across board, in spite of the SMP-induced regulatory intervention.
To date, MTN holds some 25 million subscribers, representing over 60% voice market share. Plus, over 72% of mobile data users in this country are on MTN. It mobile money market share was last put at about 94%.
Minister of Communications and Digitalization, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful applauded MTN for believing in the Ghanaian economy and investing heavily over the years while other telcos were looking on.
She noted that the declaration of MTN as SMP was never meant to curtail its growth but to create an environment for shared growth in the entire industry as MTN opens up its network as a service to competitors and other players in the ecosystem.
“Even your declaration as SMP can and should provide other opportunities for you to grow, we have mandated shared infrastructure and you have indicated your willingness in providing your platform as a service to your competitors and collaborators in the sector. I thank you for seeing these policy interventions as yet another opportunity for you to be innovative,” she said.