MTN has signed an agreement with Telkom which will see it take over financial and operational responsibility for the rollout and operation of Telkom’s radio access network (RAN).
The two companies have entered into a Heads of Agreement (HoA) which will enable each party to be able to roam on either party’s network.
Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko said: “In keeping with our plans to de-risk our mobile business we have explored various options in recent months. I am pleased that we are at this stage of engagement with MTN. The conclusion of an agreement will allow us to expand our mobile coverage and to reduce our operating costs and capital expenditure significantly.”
“We will be able to provide our customers with effective access to the latest state- of- the- art national voice, 2G, 3G and LTE networks without having to incur the significant capital expenditure ordinarily required to achieve such national coverage. Both Telkom and MTN will have access to increased voice and data capacity, improved voice quality, and faster data speed, at a lower cost than would have otherwise applied,” Maseko said.
The proposed transaction will allow Telkom to maintain a mobile offering that supports a converged product set in the consumer and enterprise segments.
“It is important to note that Telkom will continue to define and manage its own mobile products and services and market itself under the Telkom brand,” the group said.
“The company’s channels and distribution network, client service infrastructure and billing channels will be unaffected by this agreement. Telkom will continue to run these services as it currently does.”
Telkom said it will maintain and evolve its mobile core network and systems and continue providing differentiated products and services to the market.
“This is not a mobile virtual network operator (“MVNO”), Service Provider or Reseller relationship; it is a ground-breaking means to outsource the operation of our RAN for scale and efficiency, whilst retaining and enhancing our competitive differentiation and flexibility,” said Maseko.
“This agreement will allow us to increase competitiveness and improve our capabilities to compete at both wholesale and retail levels,” the chief executive said.
The proposed transaction is subject to the conclusion by the parties of various binding commercial agreements to give effect to the proposed transaction.