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MTN got a pay-TV license from Nigeria’s broadcast regulator, NBC, over the week. The telco has been racing to reduce reliance on voice as various OTT services like Whatsapp, Viber and others continue to move into that substrate of its services but no one saw this coming. They’ve made sure to be ultra-stealth about it. In 2014, MTN rolled out a slew of services that made TechCabal conclude at the time that MTN was no longer just a Telco, but more. “Telco 2.0”, we called it.
MTN hasn’t let up, apparently – and for good reason. It’s unclear how MTN will execute its cable service (MTN TV. Ah!). Its previous attempts at bundled movie streaming – Dobox and Afrinolly – were sore flops. There are numerous ways it can play this. I am willing to hazard it will draw heavily from what Safaricom already has in Kenya.