Background and Nature of Business
MTN was incorporated under the now repealed Companies Act (Cap. 110) as a private company limited by shares on 25 February 1998. The main object for which MTN was incorporated was to operate as a second national operator of a telecommunications network in Uganda. The original major shareholders of MTN were MTN International, Telia Overseas AB, Invesco and Tristar Investments SARL.
MTN converted to a public company limited by shares (under registration number P.498) by a resolution of the members dated 14 November 2002, with the conversion process being formally completed on 17 December 2003.
Following a successful international bidding process, MTN was awarded a second national operator license for 20 years, which expired on 20 October 2018. The Company’s operating license has since been renewed under a new telecommunications licensing framework which came into force in 2019. MTN now holds the NTO Licence for 12 years.
MTN was first licensed at a time when mobile cellular service penetration in Uganda was at a low of 0.27% according to the International Telecommunications Union Update April – June 2020. The Company has since contributed to the growth of the telecommunications sector in Uganda with current penetration at 70% (seven lines for every ten individuals) as of 30 June 2020 according to the UCC Market Report Q2 2021.
MTN is a leading mobile operator in Uganda. According to the UCC Market Report Q2 2021, the number of telephone subscriptions in Uganda stood at 28,986,019 as of 30 June 2021. The Company’s reporting data as of 31 December 2020 indicates that of these industry-wide subscriptions, 14.2 million are MTN customers, 4.6 million of which are 30-day active data subscribers. In the mobile money market, MTN has approximately 8.5 million active 30-day MTN Mobile Money subscribers.
In 2009, MTN pioneered mobile money business in Uganda and conducted that business alongside its telecommunications business until 2021 when, as a consequence of the enactment of the NPS Act, MTN was required to transfer the mobile money business to a wholly owned subsidiary. Following the completion of the licensing and structuring process prescribed by the NPS Act, the mobile money business was transferred to and is currently conducted by the Mobile Money Company with effect from 19 June 2021. The mobile money business continues to be a significant contributor to MTN’s earnings.
MTN has a presence in all 134 districts of Uganda and has evolved from a telecommunications company providing value added services to a provider of an innovative range of products and services including voice, data, digital and mobile financial services delivered through a network of approximately 120,000 mobile money agents, 200 service stores and 14 main distributors.
MTN Vision and Values
MTN is a mobile operator at the forefront of technological and digital changes. The Company’s belief, vision and purpose is driven by:
- Vision: To lead the delivery of a bold, new digital world.
- Belief: Everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected life.
- Ambition: To achieve the leading number of subscribers, active data users and digital and mobile money users.
Aligned with MTN Group, the Company is driven by the belief that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world, and the Company strives to connect societies through digital and financial inclusion.
MTN believes that the Company’s success is closely linked to inclusive socio-economic growth and development in Uganda. As a champion for Uganda, MTN believes that it has a pivotal role to play in addressing the considerable gaps in access to connectivity by driving mobile and internet adoption.
It is the Company’s belief that connectivity provides access to financial technology and digital solutions that pave the way for participation in economic activities and education, enhancing lives and strengthening communities.
MTN’s strategy is centred around becoming a fully-fledged digital platform as a business. In the medium-term, MTN will work towards the implementation of its Ambition 2025 strategy, including strategically repositioning its financial technology and infrastructure assets and platforms (such as the recent separation of the Company’s financial technology platform into a new wholly owned subsidiary) from its core telecommunications business to reveal the value for the Company’s shareholders. This aligns with the strategy adopted by MTN Group.
In November 2020 and March 2021, MTN Group announced its intention to focus on its pan-Africa strategy and introduced the Ambition 2025 strategic objective. The strategy is anchored on building the largest digital platform business with a clear focus on Africa This will rest on a scale connectivity and infrastructure business, making use of both mobile and fixed access networks across the consumer, enterprise and wholesale segments.
The implementation of the Ambition 2025 strategy will be accelerated through selective partnerships and leveraging the MTN brand as the most trusted and valued in Africa and will be supported and funded through enhanced cost and capital expenditure efficiencies. The repositioning of MTN Group’s business will ensure sustained growth to 2025. As part of this strategic repositioning, MTN Group is considering consolidating its infrastructure assets and platforms such as financial technology, fibre and data centres, among others, to build value and attract third-party capital and partnerships into these businesses over the medium-term, including consolidating its holdings in the financial technology businesses of sixteen of its operations, including MTN. MTN Group’s financial technology separation project is progressing well in line with the Ambition 2025 strategy. It is anticipated that the process of establishing a separated MTN Group financial technology structure will be completed in the course of 2022.
As illustrated below, the execution of Ambition 2025 is embodied in four clear strategic priorities – building the largest and most valuable platforms, driving industry-leading connectivity operations, creating shared value and accelerating portfolio transformation. The strategic priorities will be underpinned by five vital enablers to assist in operationalising the Ambition 2025 strategy – MTN Mobile Money and accompanying financial technology solutions, Ayoba with MTN (digital services), enterprise services, network as a service and Chenosis (a marketplace for application programming interface).
Currently, MTN is implementing the Ambition 2025 strategy with the objective of building the largest digital platform business in Uganda whilst supporting the country’s development agenda. At its core, Ambition 2025 sets the context in which MTN will drive the business forward to take advantage of the digital acceleration trends, capture growth opportunities and reveal the inherent value of some of MTN’s businesses and assets, such as financial technology and fibre over the medium-term, for the benefit of MTN’s shareholders.
In implementing its strategy, the Company depends on various resources and relationships, known as the Six Capitals, to create value by developing and distributing a range of innovative and reliable communication products and services. The Six Capitals, which are aligned with eleven of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, are: human capital, manufactured capital, financial capital, intellectual capital, social and relationship capital and natural capital.