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Ayoba Messaging: Everything you need to know about MTN Instant Messaging platform in 2020

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Ayoba Messaging: Everything you need to know about MTN Instant Messaging platform in 2020 1

MTN Group in 2019 announced its instant messaging platform – Ayoba. The move has since seen exponential rise in active users with MTN reporting an active 1 million monthly users.

Ridiculous numbers for a new platform in a quite saturated market

Now, if you have literally been self- isolating under a rock due to the Covid-19 pandemic and know nothing about Ayoba. We are all guilty!

You’ll definitely be asking

Ayoba Messaging: Everything you need to know about MTN Instant Messaging platform in 2020 2

A new Facebook or WhatsApp copy or what? Allow me explain in critically plain terms.

If you’re a subscriber, you’ve probably come accross broadcast messages promising 600MB monthly free charge and thinking?

What is Ayoba Instant Messaging?

Ayoba Instant Messaging app

Ayoba is an advanced communications application localised for African and Middle East consumer needs, under an independent Over the Top (OTT) brand with unique features for MTN customers.

“We believe that our customers in Africa and the Middle East deserve a communication platform that expresses our unique voice, honours our rich identity through local languages, and addresses our customers’ specific needs and challenges by offering a data-included offering for MTN users, Mobile Money transfers (coming soon) and locally relevant content via channels,” says MTN Group President and CEO, Rob Shuter.

Basically, Ayoba hopes to connect users together like every other instant messaging platform for Android and iOS however, there’s a catch.

What to do on Ayoba Messaging

It’s different from other messaging apps: you can chat to anyone regardless of whether they have the Ayoba app or not. With Ayoba , you always have total control of who you chat with, by letting you easily block and unblock contacts.

Some of the five(5) key features and offerings from MTN messaging platform, Ayoba include the following:

Chat now: This of course represents the base idea behind its introduction. Ayoba users can instantly send and receive text and voice messages with any of their contacts regardless of device type or network.

Chat with everyone: Unlike Facebook and WatsApp, users on Ayoba can also send SMS text messages with anyone in their contact list, regardless of whether they’ve installed Ayoba or not.

Security: As has become the major concern for internet users, data theft is at its peak. Ayoba however, promises end-to-end encryption which means that messages in a conversation cannot be read by anyone else.

Money transfers: Users on Ayoba will be able to make and receive payments via Mobile Money though this is a feature MTN promises will be coming soon in the near future.

Channel subscriptions: Users can subscribe to Channels, digital programs for locally relevant content across various categeries.

Ayoba has also proved beneficial in providing connections and vital Covid-19 safety information in this part of the world

Just another messaging platform or finally the ‘African future’?

MTN no doubt have seen lots of digital projects fall prey to the new product factor, though with Ayoba still in its infancy, we only have to fold arms akimbo and hope it stands the test of time.

Recall the 2go social networking app which as an African startup made all the headlines and had all the features and support and all kept us on our toes? Hopes were buzzing. Well, not until WatsApp came along to play.

Little can be pointed as possible reasons for its decline however, two things are definite, they either failed to evolve or just got swamped in the ocean of competition.

MTN though has revealed it has quite futuristic plans for its Ayoba Messaging platform.

“Ayoba is also working on building an open digital platform that will enable third-party innovation. This will ensure that we offer a rich diversified experience on the platform, enabling us to deliver more value to our users, empower local developers and create local experiences that are optimised for local communities,” explains David Gilarranz, CEO MTN Digital.

Ayoba Messaging Availability and Language support in Nigeria

The platform which was launched earlier last year is now operational in more than 8 MTN markets, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Congo Brazzaville, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Afghanistan and South Africa with Guinea Conakry, Liberia, Benin and Rwanda the major additions this year.

The app supports many local languages spoken across the MTN markets including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Pidgin, Yoruba, Swahili, Hausa, French and English.

How to download Ayoba Messaging App

Ayoba is available across multiple markets on the Google Play Store and via the Ayoba website www.ayoba.me as an OTT offering.

MTN adds that in addition to the number of exciting innovations on the cards, Ayoba plans to expand to the rest of MTN’s markets and other territories across the globe.

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MTN e-SIM card Service: What is it? Here’s everything to know as MTN begins its very first trial in West Africa

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MTN e-SIM card Service: What is it? Here's everything to know as MTN begins its very first trial in West Africa 3

So, couple days ago MTN announced it is introducing its virtual SIM technology simply called eSim cards in Nigeria which will provide the same functionalities as physical SIM cards while creating ease and eventual solution with handling many physical cards.

MTN announce e-SIM service in West

With eSim cards now available for mobile, Sim cards have undergone a 360-degree transformation. In this part of the world where telcos have moved from macro sims to micro, and nano sims, eSim cards is the next generation of SIM card evolution.

But many subscribers will be forgiven for not having any clue on the new innovation

We get so many public releases in the world of tech you might actually be swept off your feet ignoring the tiny announcements.

That won’t be the case anymore as we would go through every little facet about the new MTN eSim tech you need to know

Shall we…

What is the MTN e-SIM card tech about?

Basically, the e-SIM card technology represents the next step in the evolution of Subscriber Identity Modules (SIM cards), and designed to deliver unprecedented freedom and flexibility.

MTN Sim card 360 degree evolution

Unlike the physical SIMs, the virtual sim is built into the device(smartphone, wearables) and therefore cannot be lost or damaged by the owner. If the mobile device gets lost or damaged however, the user will need to visit an MTN store to have it deactivated.

They also support multiple profiles and allow customers to connect multiple numbers to their e-SIM devices especially if they are frequent travellers who need to use different sim cards in different countries.

This means, no more switching between different network operators, with the MTN e-SIM, you’re good to go.

How MTN e-SIM cards work

First things first, to use MTN eSim cards, it has to be first activated on your phone.

As with every banking app recently, this is a cautious move to limit the occurance of data and finance theft. By ensuing on the device locked in to the e-SIM cards only have access to its functioning.

According to MTN, activation of the MTN eSim has to be done in an MTN store by a customer care agent. The process is done at no cost to the subscriber too.

Once the device is certified compatible with the eSim, an account profile is created for the subscriber and the agents complete the integration process with the user. Once the integration is completed, a customer will find that using the virtual card is basically the same as using the current sim.

However, there’s a new catch right here which is more or less a welcome addition…

While physical sim cards can store up to 200 contacts, MTN has announced that its eSim cards can store more than 200 contacts.

This is pretty much a good move but a case of doing the right thing at the half-right time. While subscribers have resorted long ago to store contacts on their Google accounts, users who feel the need to keep check of how much their data is used against them might find this helpful.

However, current phone numbers cannot be linked to the eSim cards at the moment.

How to activate MTN e-SIM cards on my device?

Second thing after understanding how the new tech thing works is to check for the eligibility of the new tech for your device.

You’ll need to visit any of our MTN stores. Our customer care agents will check your device for eligibility and walk you through the setup process.

MTN

As with many network providers and their data offerings these days, virtual sim cards are not available for everyone yet, as only a few phones are currently compatible and can be integrated with it. Only certain brands of Google, Apple and Samsung phones can have eSims integrated into them.

For now, MTN states that the few compatible Google phones are Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. For Apple you have iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR. The Samsung S20 series are also compatible with eSim cards.

Talk about prioritising the flagships first…

How the introduction of MTN e-SIM cards could benefit you

Notwithstanding the sophistication of e-SIMs, the onboarding requirements are the same as are required for a physical SIM. Hence, SIM registration in line with existing regulatory prescriptions remains a requirement for activating a device embedded with an e-SIM.

MTN e-SIMs are particularly useful for people who want to manage personal and business lines easily and effectively or want a separate profile for data.

The new technology will also be extremely convenient for frequent travelers and tourists, making it easier for them to opt for and keep a local subscription when visiting Nigeria.

The trial which kicked-off couple days ago will run for one year and is open on a first come first served basis to a limited number of subscribers who own compatible devices.

No doubt MTN is spearheading e-SIM adoption in Nigeria as part of efforts to enable the African digital economy. The feedbacks for the next year will be quite important too moving forward.

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MTN and Ericsson partner to launch 5G Network Connection to South African Cities

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MTN and Ericsson partner to launch 5G Network Connection to South African Cities 4

MTN South Africa have today announced the availability of its 5G commercial offering using Ericsson products in the cities of Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

This latest development coming after Telma Madagascar powered by also Ericsson to switch on its 5G commercial network to offer subscribers high-speed services enabled by the new generation of mobile connectivity.

Hol’up, we thought 5G causes Coronavirus??!

MTN and Ericsson partner to launch 5G Network Connection to South African Cities 5

MTN previously upgraded to Evolved Packet Core (EPC) by Ericsson which enabled MTN to launch 5G services based on new radio (NR) non-standalone (NSA) while paving the way for a smooth evolution into NR Standalone and 5G Core (5GC) in future.

Under the 2019 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), Ericsson committed to provide MTN with radio access network equipment from its Ericsson Radio System portfolio, which enable 5G services on both low- and mid-band. Ericsson’s solutions to MTN also includes the award-winning Ericsson Spectrum Sharing.

The President of Ericsson Middle East and Africa, Fadi Pharaon, says: “Today’s event means that the 5G era in South Africa is becoming a reality. Soon, South Africans will be able to experience 5G in their daily lives and witness its positive impact on society and industry. We have a rich history of working in close partnership with MTN and now we are going live with 5G in South Africa.

With many live commercial 5G networks across the globe, we look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with MTN, jointly leading and driving innovation to ensure the digitalization of Africa.”

And no doubt this has been the major headache in Africa with Health sector all having challenges communicating and managing the rising Covid-19 cases especially as a time when video conferencing seems to be the norm.

What to expect…

Two key 5G use cases for the Madagascar market are enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

With greater capacity, higher data speeds and reduced latency, 5G will power new experiences for Telma customers, from gaming and entertainment services, to IoT and business applications. Healthcare and education are areas that will deeply benefit from this technology.

Ericsson Spectrum Sharing will enable MTN to quickly launch 5G services over a wide area and successively expand 5G coverage in a tailored way by re-using existing network infrastructure and taking advantage of previous spectrum investments.

MTN can therefore provide 5G commercial services and move towards Standalone (SA) 5G without the need for blanket costly re-investment. Industries such as transportation, healthcare and manufacturing can leverage 5G capabilities to accelerate digital transformation and deploy advanced automation technologies.

What next for 5G in other African Countries?

Ericsson currently has 95 commercial 5G agreements and contracts with unique operators, of which 55 are publicly announced 5G deals, including 43 live 5G networks on five continents.

Public view of the Fifth Generation Tech has been so much distorted in Africa with conspiracy theories relating it to the Covid-19 pandemic doing nothing to quell the fears and misunderstanding.

However, the introduction of the network in major Africa countries will go a long way to either proving the doubters wrong and hopefully correcting any wrong perspective of the Next-Gen tech.

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