Retail Group Pick n Pay TechCentral will be the first mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) to use MTN South Africa’s newly launched platform to support this type of virtual provider.
An announcement about the launch of Pick n Pay Mobile and its partnership with MTN could come as early as Tuesday, but it could come out later this week, said one source who is aware of the situation.
Pick n Pay Mobile is closely tied to the retailer’s highly successful Smart Shopper loyalty programme, and consumers will receive airtime in data, voice call time and SMS format based on their spending in stores across the country.
The imminent announcement of the deal with MTN came just a few weeks after Pick n Pay CEO Richard Brasher said in mid-term results for retailers in August 2020 that they will launch both Pick n Pay Mobile and Boxercom under the Boxer chain.
Brasher explained that providing data was a smart way for supermarkets to face the COVID-19 pandemic, Moneyweb reported at the time.
“In the spirit of innovation… We plan to launch Pick n Pay Mobile and Boxercom in the near future… Now data is an important leap of life. I think it’s important because it helped people stay in touch with friends and family during this epidemic. It is important for education and entertainment.”
Beyond cell C
Several companies in South Africa have launched MVNO products in recent years, including First National Bank and Mr Price Group. To date, all MVNOs in South Africa have hopped on Cell C’s network.
Shameel Joosub, CEO of Vodacom Group, told TechCentral this week that telecommunications regulator Icasa is building an MVNO platform that will be ready for customers shortly after completing a planned mobile broadband spectrum auction in March 2021.
Supporting the MVNO is a requirement of the successful bidder to apply for participation in Icasa’s spectrum auction. — (c) 2020 NewsCentral Media