MTN launches fibre products in strange internal strategy shift

MTN has announced the launch of MTN Fibre, which is essentially a clone of its Internet service provider Supersonic’s fibre offering.

The mobile operator said MTN Fibre aligns with its Ambition 2025 strategy to “drive industry-leading connectivity solutions to its customers”.

Bertus van der Vyver, MTN South Africa’s general manager for residential services, said MTN Fibre redefines how their customers connect and communicate.

“MTN Fibre offers South Africans the best in broadband connectivity, innovation and reliability,” Van der Vyver said.

He added that MTN Fibre is available on most large fibre network operators in South Africa and that they have a dedicated support team to assist customers.

While MTN tries to position MTN Fibre as an innovative new offering, it is nothing more than a mirror of its own ISP, Supersonic.

Supersonic launched in September 2018, promising the best customer experience, becoming the top ISP in South Africa, and capturing a large chunk of the market.

Under the guidance of managing director Calvin Collett, the fibre ISP achieved exceptional success in its first year.

It won the coveted MyBroadband ISP of the Year award in 2019 and rapidly grew its subscriber base and market share.

However, internal politics and leadership problems hurt Supersonic, and the service provider started to lose subscribers.

Collett left Supersonic at the end of 2021, and MTN appointed Megan Nicholas as managing director in January 2022.

MTN said it would ensure continuous customer growth in the residential market by making an internal appointment.

It added that it aimed to capture 30% market share across all broadband technologies through Supersonic by 2025.

However, Nicholas quietly left Supersonic and MTN early this year. There was no announcement of her departure or reasons why she was no longer there.

Former Mweb executive Carolyn Holgate was hired as Supersonic’s new managing director, effective 1 July 2023.

Three months later, MTN announced the launch of its own fibre offerings through “MTN Fibre brought to you by Supersonic”.

It is unclear why MTN decided to launch MTN Fibre when it already has its own ISP, Supersonic, which offers the same products.

Daily Investor asked MTN about this strategy, and the company confirmed that MTN Fibre offered the same service as Supersonic.

The operator said MTN Fibre combines the strength of the MTN brand, extensive sales presence, and digital capabilities with the ISP infrastructure from Supersonic.

“Leveraging the capabilities of both entities will ensure greater prominence of the offers, exposing our customers to more value,” it said.