MTN Cyprus and Chinese telecoms giant Huawei have agreed on a strategic cooperation on the development of a 5G network in Cyprus, initially through a joint research programme and then using a commercial set of services.
According to the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC), signed during the Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, a task force will be formed in order to share its know-how, the well-known 5G global ecosystem and to ultimately shape the preconditions for a smooth introduction and seamless development of the 5G network in the country.
Thanos Chronopoulos, CEO of MTN Cyprus said: “MTN, in its new era, is faster, more flexible and more dynamic. This cooperation leads us to the advanced global 5G ecosystem and paves the path to Cyprus’ technological future.
“We are willing and ready to play our part within the context of a national strategy which will significantly upgrade the country’s role and contribution to telecoms across the entire region”.
Philip Gan, Vice President CEE & Nordic Region, Huawei, said: “With the completion of this new strategic partnership with MTN Cyprus, it is now clear that the European markets are first and foremost focusing on the development of an advanced technology, aiming to meet the needs of the new era under the best possible way.”
Last year, Johannesburg-listed telecommunications group MTN sold its Cyprus operation to Monaco Telecom for €260 million.
MTN Cyprus, the group’s only business in the European Union, was acquired as part of the acquisition of telecoms holding company Investcom LLC in 2006.
The reason behind the sale was that the Cyprus business fell outside MTN’s core footprint in Africa and the Middle East.
MTN Cyprus has gone from being owned by an African company to one that is more focused on Europe.
Monaco Telecom, a member of NJJ Holding, acquired 100% of MTN, whose turnover last year reached €123 million, from the MTN Group – Africa’s biggest wireless carrier by subscribers.
Under the agreement, MTN let Monaco Telecom continue to use the MTN brand in Cyprus for up to three years in return for a commercial fee.
MTN launched commercial operations in Cyprus in July 2004, securing the second mobile telephony license on the island and soon became one of the leading providers.
Monaco Telecom is the provider of the Principality of Monaco but is currently expanding into new markets where it can offer its customers innovative products and services based on high-quality broadband networks.
The Monaco company is 55% owned by French billionaire Xavier Niel, founder and largest shareholder of Paris-based telecommunications provider Iliad trading under the Free brand (France’s second-largest ISP, and third mobile operator).
Neil – net worth $5.6 billion – has a portfolio that includes Orange Switzerland, which he acquired in 2014 for $2.9 billion and renamed Salt, and a controlling interest in French newspaper Le Monde
The Cypriot company was picked because it was viewed as the fastest growing provider in the country, seeing its customer increase over 20% in recent years.
Source: Financial Mirror