Retail group Pick n Pay will be the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to use MTN South Africa’s newly launched platform to support these types of virtual providers, TechCentral has learnt.
An announcement about the launch of Pick n Pay Mobile and its partnership with MTN could be made as early as Tuesday afternoon, a source with knowledge of the situation said.
It’s understood that Pick n Pay Mobile will be intimately tied to the retailer’s highly successful Smart Shopper loyalty programme, where consumers will receive airtime in the form of data, voice minutes and SMSes based on their spend in its stores nationwide.
The imminent announcement of the deal with MTN comes just weeks after Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher said at the retailer’s interim results to August 2020 that it would launch both Pick n Pay Mobile and Boxercom, under its Boxer chain.
Brasher explained that supplying data was a sensible direction for the supermarket to take in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, Moneyweb reported at the time.
“In the spirit of innovation … we intend to launch Pick n Pay Mobile and Boxercom in the not-so-distant future… Data is now the crucial elixir of life. I think it is important because it has helped people stay connected during the course of this pandemic with friends and family. It is important for education and for entertainment.”
Beyond Cell C
Several South African companies have launched MVNO offerings in recent years, including First National Bank and Mr Price Group. To date, all MVNOs in South Africa have piggybacked off Cell C’s network.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub told TechCentral this week that the company is also building an MVNO platform which should be ready for clients soon after communications regulator Icasa concludes the planned mobile broadband spectrum auction in March 2021.
Supporting MVNOs is a requirement for successful bidders in Icasa’s invitation to apply to participate in the spectrum auction. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media