MTN has unveiled the acquisition of music streaming platform Simfy at AfricaCom 2018 which the company CEO Rob Shuter considers as only one step in MTN’s journey to transform into a digital services business.

Speaking at the event, Shuter talked about the challenges telcos are still facing in Africa and how to overcome them, notably at the level of connectivity. He also stressed the importance of understanding how consumers are engaging with the connected world.

“Our mission is not just about connecting people, but understanding what the users want to use the internet for, so we can build networks properly,” said Shuter. “When we look at China today, that will be Africa in the next two to three years.”

In order to do so, MTN aspires to create a presence in the fields of media, communications, mobile payments and gaming. The launch of the revamped mobile money offering during Q1 2019 is the first step in this quest.

For Shuter, a digital services company has to capitalize on connectivity and offer its own competitive products while partnering with players in the ecosystem. Simfy will allow customers to merge connectivity and music payments on the same bill, while operating as a separate entity in the OTT environment.


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