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MTN launches fibre brand

MTN has launched a new fibre to the home offering under the brand name süpersonic, acting as an independently run company.

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Going live on now, the service is based on what the company calls a commitment to “delivering the best customer experience in a fibre market still being held back by a general lack of service delivery and customer satisfaction”.

“Complaints of too much complexity, network instability and poor after-sales services continue to plague the fibre industry and we aim to change that,” says supersonic CEO, Calvin Collett. “Our focus is on meeting customer needs and expectations by using skilled technicians trained by us, innovative user-friendly apps and before and after-sale service expertise and channels to ensure customers receive speedy service off the back of the country’s fastest and most stable network.”

According to MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa, improved digital access is the future of unlocking the full potential of the local economy.

“Our commitment is to deliver high-quality end-to-end solutions that connect more people and businesses and this exciting new initiative is one more important step in that direction,” he says.

“We are excited to be able to harness a fresh, invigorated fibre offering within our open access network model to deliver an uncapped, reliable and cost-effective solution to many more homes across the country. We look forward to seeing this expanded to entrepreneurs and businesses next year. Of course, it is essential the solution always meets the high standards of customer-centric support and service we are known for.”

süpersonic’s focus is on consumers this year and then next year to make a wholesale offering available to businesses. MTN’s fixed-line LTE solution will still be made available to those in areas where fibre may not yet be available.

MTN bought SmartVillage from Multichoice in late 2015 to make inroads in the fibre to the home (FTTH) market. The fibre business has been placed under new management, rebranded as süpersonic, and has a new and more efficient operational structure. süpersonic has its own executive team, employing 120 people, of which 25 are trained technicians.

“It has taken five months for us to solidify our business structure to ensure we can do things differently and add more value to the lives of consumers” says Collett. “We are focusing on the main metros first, but will be expanding this further and, where we can’t deliver a service, we will also assist in providing access to MTN’s fixed-line LTE service.”

To differentiate itself from the ISPs already existing in the SA market, the new proposition is hinged on simplicity, reliability, stability and agility. A simple, web-based, five-step sign-up process is followed by the guarantee of a call-back in under 30 minutes.

The süpersonic installation and full configuration at home can take as little as four days – but within a minimum of 14 days – and trained technicians provide a full turnkey solution. They configure all facets of the system, on premise, and ensure it is working and connected to all the required apps in the home before they leave.

“Life is complex, but fibre shouldn’t be,” says Collett. “The lack of good service has been one of the main bugbears with FTTH generally and we intend plugging that gap. On top of that, our major competitive advantage is we harness the stable, reliable and powerful MTN network. While speed is ubiquitous in the fibre space the true differentiator comes with service and the stability and reliability of the network.”

A customisable user app includes a dashboard which ensures users can track important details along with their service line, including where their technician is and how long it will take to arrive.

All the fibre options are uncapped, with an initial price point from R658.

“In our view, fibre should not have any limitation in terms of capacity so our solution is uncapped with no shaping,” says Collett. “Fibre, of course, is already much faster than traditional copper-based lines and is free from the risks of damage caused by rain, or theft. We believe our solution will ensure more people can benefit and we plan to become the number one ISP in the country in 5 years.”

MTN will allow other ISPs, with valid electronic communications services licences, to integrate the services they provide to end-users.

süpersonic has an initial target of connecting 25% of the fibre market – which comprises 800,000 homes but is projected to pass as many as 2.2m by 2022.

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New iPhone pricing for SA

The iStore has announced that the latest iPhones, the Xs and Xs Max, can now be pre-ordered at www.myistore.co.za , and will be available in stores starting 28 September 2018.

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iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max feature 5.8-inch and 6.5-inch Super Retina displays that offer remarkable brightness and true blacks while showing 60 percent greater dynamic range in HDR photos. iPhone Xs and iPhone Xs Max have an improved dual camera system that offers breakthrough photo and video features, A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, faster Face ID, wider stereo sound, longer battery life, splash and water resistance,

Pre-orders will be open for cash purchases and on iStore’s revised payment plan in partnership with FNB Credit Card, allowing customers to pay off their iPhone at a reduced interest rate. However, the contract period is 37 months rather than the usual 24 months.
*FNB Credit Card Payment Plan, price per month over 37 months, a 40% trade-in value after 24 months

How to pre-order – Pre-ordering online for either cash or the FNB payment plan gives customers the benefit of reserving their purchase without having to queue and the added convenience of having purchases delivered directly to their door. Pre-orders of iPhone Xs and Xs Max are completed online by visiting www.myistore.co.za.
FREE iCare Plus – Exclusive to iStore, all customers can get its 2-year extended warranty, which includes one Apple Certified screen repair, that normally sells for R1 999, for FREE. To qualify, customers should secure a voucher online now at www.myistore.co.za , and subsequently redeem it when they upgrade their contract or purchase any new iPhone at iStore (iPhone 8 and newer) between now and 31 December 2018. Offer is limited, secure your voucher now.

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Accenture opens Fjord design centre in Johannesburg

Accenture has launched its first design and innovation studio on African soil, Fjord Johannesburg.

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The company says the move significantly expands its design capabilities and demonstrates its commitment to unlocking Africa’s innovation potential through the creation of experiences that redefine industries in our constantly evolving digital era.

The new studio, opening in November, will be located at Accenture’s new 3875m² offices in Waterfall. It will be led by Marcel Rossouw, design director and studio lead for Fjord Johannesburg.

Said Rossouw, “Brands are constantly asking, ’how does one take a business need or problem, build that out into a definition of a service experience, and then bring it to market?’ It’s about re-engineering existing service experiences, identifying customer needs, prototyping rapidly, iterating often and proving or disproving assumptions. But it’s also about getting feedback from customers. The combination of these factors helps companies advance towards the ultimate service experience.”

Fjord is the design and innovation consultancy of Accenture Interactive. The Johannesburg location marks its 28th design studio globally, solidifying its position as the world’s leading design powerhouse.

Working in the same location as Accenture Interactive will allow Fjord to fuse its core design strategy DNA with the digital agency’s expertise in marketing, content and commerce to create and deliver the best customer experiences for the world’s leading brands. Accenture Interactive Africa‘s blend of intelligent design and creative use of technology has already been used by some of South Africa’s largest and most prominent brands, including Alexander Forbes, Discovery, MultiChoice and Nedbank. The digital agency has also earned industry accolades for its innovative and compelling business results, most notably two gold awards in the Service Design category at the 2017 and 2018 Loeries awards.

“Great design tells great stories,” says Wayne Hull, managing director of Accenture Digital and Accenture Interactive lead in Africa. “It unifies a brand, drives innovation and makes the brand or service distinctive and hyper-relevant in both the digital and physical worlds. This is critical to achieving results. Having Fjord Johannesburg as part of Accenture Interactive, and collaborating with all of Accenture Africa, will provide unique experiences and forward-thinking capabilities for our clients.”

“Businesses in South Africa are becoming more design-aware and are looking to take greater advantage of design skills to compete with the rest of the world,” said Thomas Müller, head of Europe, Africa and Latin America at Fjord. “We’re excited to open our first design studio on the continent and to be part of an emerging market that is ripe for design and innovation, and open for business. Developing markets like South Africa are challenging assumptions and norms about what digital services and products are meant to be, and we’ll strive to put design at the heart of the innovation being produced there.”

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