UK operator group BT has embarked on a rare foreign adventure by partnering with the B2B arm of pan-African operator group MTN.
The move is being positioned as a ‘strategic alliance’, no less, and seems to represent a major new international initiative for BT, which will offer stuff like managed connectivity, cloud security and voice services to MTN Business customers. While it’s being positioned as an MTN group thing, it seems the South African arm is taking the lead. Maybe it will kick-off there and then expand if all goes according to plan.
“MTN Business continues to deliver innovative solutions to ensure the benefits of the digital economy are expanded to more people and entities across Africa,” said Wanda Matandela, Chief Enterprise Business Officer at MTN. “As this growth happens, however, it is imperative to manage risk. MTN Business is excited about the potential this alliance has to offer and is committed to providing solutions that ensure businesses thrive in the digital economy of the future.”
“The world’s leading banks, healthcare providers, energy companies and governments put their trust in BT to connect and secure their operations,” said Alessandro Adriani, Indirect Sales Director at BT. “We look forward to working with MTN to bring the same cutting-edge services and solutions to businesses across the African continent.”
It seems fair to infer from those limp canned quotes that this strategic alliance is at a fairly early phase. One possible reason for caution could be that BT’s international adventures have a fairly patchy tack record. BT Global is still a thing, but it has kept a low profile since its Italian humiliation a few years ago, so maybe this represents a dipping of the BT toe back into international waters.
MTN certainly doesn’t seem that bothered, with neither the group for the South African press rooms bothering to mention it. MTN group seems more excited about the fact that it has been named both the most admired and most valuable brand in Africa.
“We are humbled by the recognition and remain focused on playing a leading role in building a more digitally inclusive society across Africa,” said MTN Group President and CEO Ralph Mupita. “Using our brand power, distribution footprint and best-in-class connectivity infrastructure, we are working to facilitate a real change in the continent’s digital and financial inclusion.”