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MTN buys MultiChoice fibre provider

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MTN has concluded a deal with MultiChoice to acquire Smart Village, which will accelerate the mobile operator’s fibre to the home (FTTH) strategy.

The transaction is subject to approval by the South African competition authorities in terms of the Competition Act.

Smart Village is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MultiChoice that owns fibre networks in gated communities. Its expansive fibre network passes 29 000 residential homes and stands in Gauteng, the Western Cape and Kwa-Zulu Natal.

The acquisition will give MTN presence in more gated estates and apartment blocks, business parks and shopping malls. MTN’s FTTH footprint will also include the flagship and most-sought after estates of Waterfall, Jackal Creek, Xanadu Eco-Estate and Midstream Estates.

Mteto Nyati, CEO of MTN South Africa, comments: “The acquisition of Smart Village provides MTN with the opportunity to cement its market leadership in the FTTH space and to make inroads in the enterprise sector. In the enterprise space, the deal will give MTN Business the ability to provide wholesale access to 4,228 enterprises passed by Smart Village, while ensuring substantial savings for MTN and its customers as traffic will be routed via MTN’s backhaul infrastructure.

“The transaction is in line with our strategy of driving sustainable growth through identifying and astutely acting on new opportunities as part of MTN’s delivery of a bold, new digital world to our customers. It lays the firm foundation that allows us to develop our participation in the enterprise adjacent sectors including media and entertainment.”

In terms of the deal, MultiChoice will continue to look after existing Smart Village customers until the deal is ratified.

Mark Rayner, chief operating officer of MultiChoice South Africa, comments: “Smart Village is a network infrastructure business which aligns more closely to MTN’s telecommunications infrastructure business. Our focus at MultiChoice is to deliver consumer-facing services across multiple platforms. This deal enables us to sharpen our focus on our core business.”

In the last few months, MTN has ramped up its rollout of its FTTH network, and has expanded its fibre network footprint to the suburbs of Parkmore, Lonehill and Sandhurst in Gauteng, Fresnaye and Bakoven in Western Cape and La Lucia in Kwa-Zulu Natal.