First National Bank has signed an agreement with MTN South Africa for the supply of network services for FNB Connect, its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
FNB will retain Cell C as a supplier of network services, with FNB Connect opting for a dual-supplier strategy, a spokesman for the bank confirmed to TechCentral on Wednesday.
MVNOs like FNB Connect piggyback on networks built by network operators, leveraging their brands to lure consumers and complement their existing propositions. Retailers and banks in South Africa have shown particular interest in the MVNO model.
In a joint statement, FNB and MTN said they have formed a “strategic network collaboration aimed at accelerating access to reliable telecommunications and internet services for customers who use FNB Connect”. The addition of MTN as a network partner “allows customers to enjoy the best of both worlds in network quality”.
“Telecoms and ICT services are central to the integrated value propositions we offer our customers across financial and lifestyle services,” said FNB CEO Jacques Celliers in the statement.
“In the months ahead, we will expand our range of services by introducing more cost-effective and tailored solutions for both individual and business customers. This includes internet-of-things solutions that empower businesses to improve efficiency and productivity,” he said.
“We will also offer fibre, 5G and LTE for faster internet speeds and reliable connectivity for both residential and commercial customers.”
FNB disclosed that its MVNO sold about R400-million in smartphones and other digital devices in the first half of the year.
Cell C deal
Asked for comment on the developments, Cell C’s chief officer for wholesale business, Stephen Morony, said the operator has signed a multi-year extension of its existing agreement with FNB Connect”, which now has a “dual-vendor strategy”. FNB remains a “strategic partner”, Morony said.
“We look forward to our continued relationship with the FNB Connect team while welcoming competition in the MVNO space. Cell C is confident that our technology platform, our extensive MVNO partner experience, range of service offerings and value propositions are competitive and will serve our varied customer segments well, enabling ever more choice for the South African consumer.” – © 2023 NewsCentral Media