Industry News Page | Telecoms Chamber



Facebook has formed an internet consortium to focus on online child safety on its platform.

The Ideal Internet Consortium is a working group of child safety practitioners that will deliberate on safety issues and give recommendations to civil society, industry and government. Its findings are expected to help create strategies to keep young users safe online.

The US-based social media leader has also partnered with the Ministry of Women and Child Development to build digital literacy campaigns around women and child safety online.

This will be done through a #CreateCareConnect comic series which was launched on Tuesday, along with the next edition of the Thumbstoppers campaign in 2020, which will be a series of short creative mobile videos under 10 seconds that will focus on issues like gender equality, domestic violence and education for the girl child.

As part of efforts in this direction, Facebook has also set up its global digital literacy programme, We Think Digital, in India. Smriti Irani, minister for women and child development, said: “While the internet opens doors for women and children to learn and gain knowledge, it comes with the responsibility to ensure their safety... With Facebook, we want to build ways in which we equip and educate people to help them make smarter choices online and learn about internet safety.” So far, the consortium, which is led by the Aarambh India Initiative, has had seven focus group discussions with people from cities across Odisha, Tripura, Jharkhand and Kerala. Ankhi Das, director of public policy for Facebook (India, South & Central Asia), said: “We are building programmes that are aimed at internet users’ digital hygiene and maintaining online privacy and security.”

As part of the We Think Digital programme, Facebook will partner with agencies from both government and civil society, which will help it achieve its aim of training more than 5 million people by 2021.

Source: Economictimes


MTN Group has announced that its messaging platform, “Ayoba” has reached one million monthly active users.

Ayoba is an advanced communications application localised for the needs of African and Middle East consumers under an independent Over the Top (OTT) brand with unique features for MTN customers.

A statement from MTN and copied to the Ghana News Agency, the app supports many local languages spoken across the MTN markets including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Pidgin, Yoruba, Swahili, Hausa, French and English.

It said MTN, together with its partners, are driven to improve access to affordable communications to ensure that people in its markets could reap the social, economic and developmental dividends of being online.

“Ayoba underscores this goal to bring more people into the digital world by providing them with affordable and simplified digital communication services.”

Mr Rob Shuter, the MTN Group President and Chief Executive Officer, said: “We believe that our customers in Africa and the Middle East deserve a communication platform that expresses our unique voice, honours our rich identity through local languages, and addresses our customers' specific needs and challenges by offering a data-included offering for MTN users, Mobile Money transfers and locally relevant content via channels."

The platform which was launched earlier this year, the statement said, is now operational in eight MTN markets in Ghana, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan and South Africa.

Ayoba is also available across multiple markers on the Google Play Store and via the Ayoba website as on OTT offering.

As part of continuous efforts to enhance its offerings, Ayoba would be adding more features in future.

It is also working on building on open digital platform that would enable third party innovation to ensure that rich diversified experience on the platform is offered.

Mr David Gilarranz, the CEO of MTN Digital, said the open digital platform would also enable the company to deliver more value to its users, empower local developers and create local experience that are optimised for local communities.

Ayoba’s key features and offerings include ‘Local Languages’, ‘Chat Now’, ‘Security’, ‘Chat with Everyone’, ‘Channels’ and ‘Money Transfers.’

Launched in 1994, the MTN Group is a market operator with a clear vision to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world to its 244 million customers in 21 countries in Africa and the Middle East.

Source: GNA



MTN South Africa has selected Ericsson as a 5G network modernisation vendor. Ericsson will supply 5G products from its Radio Access Network (RAN), transport and Core portfolios, with commercial rollout expected to start in 2020.
As part of its transformation strategy, MTN South Africa is upgrading its core network to support 3GPP-compliant 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) architecture. The 5G commercialisation is planned between 2020 and 2022, with a focus on use cases and applications relevant in the South African context. These include enhanced mobile broadband, fixed wireless access, and the IoT. MTN and Ericsson are working together to identify and develop 5G use cases and applications that will contribute to the digital transformation of industry verticals.

In addition to providing end-to-end 5G capabilities, Ericsson has been chosen to modernize MTN South Africa’s existing LTE and legacy radio access networks as part of a three-year deal signed earlier this year. MTN is using 5G New Radios (5G NR), basebands and MINI-LINK microwave transmission products from the Ericsson Radio System portfolio to enhance network quality for the company’s 30 million customers. Ericsson has also provided MTN with an Ericsson cloud core network, including 5G Evolved Packet Core and User Data Management.

Source: Telecompaper


In the continued drive for innovation in cost-effective rural coverage MTN is pleased to announce that it has deployed over 200 commercial rural sites across its footprint, using OpenRAN technology.

MTN is amongst the pioneers of OpenRAN – the technology which enables operators to achieve cost-effective deployments allowing for greater connectivity to previously unconnected areas.

MTN is projecting to deploy more than 5,000 sites in rural areas across its 21 operations, bringing 2G, 3G and 4G connectivity to areas that were previously unconnected. In order to realise this goal, MTN will rely on an ecosystem of partners who will bring their expertise to build and maintain the sites, utilising a full turnkey approach.

“Our Group Technology team has been pioneering OpenRAN, concluding field trials in Zambia in 2018 and deploying commercial sites from the beginning of 2019. We focus on creating viable new RAN solutions alongside the traditional deployments of network technology suppliers in order to accelerate the rural expansion in our markets,” said Rob Shuter, MTN Group President and CEO.

MTN operations in Uganda and Guinea Conakry are already benefiting from this technology, as MTN has also partnered with the likes of VANU, Parallel Wireless and NuRAN Wireless to deliver the technology.

As one of the foremost members of the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), MTN carries out solution testing on all hardware and software elements at its state-of-the-art head office in Johannesburg, South Africa. The TIP initiative aims to define 2G, 3G and 4G RAN solutions based on general-purpose, vendor-neutral hardware and software-defined technology.

By continuing to accelerate innovation through initiatives such as OpenRAN, MTN continues to lead the delivery of a bold new digital world, solidifying its position as a leading mobile operator in the market.